DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - Two Kurdish militant bomb attacks ripped through a military outpost and an army vehicle on Sunday, killing seven members of the armed forces, the military said, as a conflict which flared a year ago continued to rage in southeast Turkey.
It was the third such attack in the last 24 hours in the mainly Kurdish region, where a two-year-old ceasefire between the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group and the state collapsed last July.
Since then, thousands of PKK fighters, security force members and civilians have died in fighting across the region.
In the latest violence, a roadside bomb planted by PKK guerrillas tore through a military vehicle and killed four soldiers on the road between Semdinli and Aktutun in Hakkari province, along the border with Iraq, an army statement said.
Another soldier wounded in the attack later died, security sources said, adding army border units were put on alert and an air-backed operation was launched to find those responsible.
Further west in the town of Kiziltepe, near the Syrian border, police clashed with PKK fighters, killing two militants and capturing two more alive, other security sources said. Six police officers were wounded in the fighting.
The attacks came after reports that senior PKK commander Fehman Huseyin was killed on Friday in a bomb attack on a car in which he was traveling in northeast Syria. The report by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency has not been confirmed. [L8N19V07H]
Elsewhere in southeast Turkey, PKK militants carried out a car bomb attack on a military outpost in the Ercis district of Van province overnight, killing one soldier and a member of the state-sponsored village guard militia, the army said.
It said 10 soldiers and five village guards were wounded.
Also along the border with Syria, PKK guerrillas staged a car bomb attack around midday on Saturday targeting a military installation in Mardin province, killing two soldiers and a civilian and wounding dozens, security sources said.
More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict since the PKK, designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union, began its insurgency in 1984.
Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Andrew Roche