Turkey's interior minister says Kurdish rebels have opened fire at security forces protecting a convoy of vehicles carrying Turkey's main opposition party leader in the northeast, wounding three soldiers.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the Republican People's Party told the state-run Anadolu Agency that he was safe and had been taken to a government building in Artvin province.

Minister Efkan Ala blamed the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, for Thursday's attack. He said the assailants targeted a paramilitary police vehicle that was protecting Kilicdaroglu's motorcade. Its driver was seriously hurt, while two other soldiers were lightly wounded.

Ala said the security forces immediately began an operation in the region.

Violence between the PKK and Turkish security forces resumed last year after the collapse of a peace process.