8 Turkish soldiers killed in PKK battle

June 19, 2012 at 8:31 AM
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DAGLICA, Turkey, June 19 (UPI) -- Eight Turkish soldiers were killed and 15 were wounded after members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, known as PKK, attacked a military outpost, officials said.

PKK militants attacked the Daglica military outpost early Tuesday near the border with northern Iraq. Turkish troops responded with heavy fire, Today's Zaman reported. Fierce fighting was reported, the newspaper said.

The PKK is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and other Western countries. Violence by the PKK has increased recently despite improved relations between Turkey and the Kurdish Regional Government of Northern Iraq, The Financial Times reported.

Turkey's Kurdish minority has long sought language rights and great autonomy.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week said children in state schools could soon be allowed to take optional courses in Kurdish, once dismissed as a dialect rather than its own language, The Financial Times said.

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