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Turkish Cabinet to Consider Response to Rebel Attack That Killed 13 Troops

08 October 2007

Turkey's Cabinet meets Monday to discuss its response to a Kurdish rebel attack that killed 13 soldiers in southeastern Turkey, near the border with Iraq.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said late Sunday the government will continue its fight against Kurdish rebels - in his words - "in a different way." He did not elaborate.

Turkish officials say rebels from the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, killed the 13 soldiers Sunday in an ambush in Sirnak province near the Iraqi border.

Turkish troops responded by shelling areas near the Iraqi border to try to prevent the attackers from reaching their bases in northern Iraq.

Turkish authorities say Kurdish rebels killed another soldier and wounded three others Monday in a landmine attack in the Lice district of Diyarbakir province, also in the southeast.

Last week, PKK rebels ambushed a minibus in Sirnak and killed 12 passengers, including village guards.

Turkey and Iraq signed a deal last month that commits Iraqi troops to fight Kurdish rebels who Ankara says use bases in northern Iraq to stage cross-border attacks.

The deal does not allow Turkey to send its troops into Iraq. Washington also opposes Turkish military intervention in northern Iraq, fearing it could destabilize Iraq's relatively peaceful Kurdish region.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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