ANKARA, Turkey, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Nine militants believed to be with the black-listed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, were killed by Turkish forces in the south of the country, Ankara said.
The PKK has been waging a bloody separatist campaign against the Turkish government for decades. Turkish authorities in southern Hakkari province said nine PKK fighters were killed by government forces in clashes Tuesday, the government's Anatolia news agency reports.
Militants with the PKK fired on a military outpost in Hakkari in July, killing three soldiers in the attack.
Authorities in nearby Adana province in southern Turkey said police uncovered almost 50 pounds of explosives that they say belonged to the PKK.
Adana police officials told the government news agency that the PKK was going to use the explosives to carry out attacks on major cities in the country.
The attacks come as Ankara prepares for a constitutional referendum scheduled for Sunday.
Ankara is considering a package of 26 proposals to amend a constitution drafted under the military authority that followed a coup in 1980. The amendments to the Turkish Constitution would change the structure of the court system by moving the power from the military and into the hands of the president and prime minister, both from the ruling Justice and Development Party.