Turkey's state-run agency says two police officers were killed while attempting to defuse a roadside bomb.

The Anadolu Agency blamed the deaths on the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, for Tuesday's incident. Ankara and its allies consider the PKK a terrorist organization, and the agency said air-backed operations were underway to hunt down Kurdish rebels in the eastern province of Van.

The PKK, which wants greater autonomy for Turkey's Kurds, has waged a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state in a conflict that has claimed 40,000 lives.

After a 2 1/2-year lull while peace talks were underway, the conflict re-ignited last summer.

PKK-linked rebels have staged multiple bomb attacks against Turkish police and troops, which in turn have carried out tank-backed security operations in flashpoint areas.