Turkey's state-run news agency says three soldiers were killed in a bomb attack on a road in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast region where the security forces are battling Kurdish rebels.

Anadolu Agency says the bomb exploded Friday on a highway linking the cities of Tunceli and Elazig as an armored personnel carrier was passing by.

The agency said the military sent reinforcements and attack helicopters to the area to attempt to catch the assailants whose escape routes were placed "under intense fire."

Violence in the southeast region has surged since July when a fragile peace process between the state and the rebels of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, collapsed. Hundreds of people, including more than 350 security force members, have died in the renewed conflict.