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Kurdish Rebels Kill 9 in Turkey

June 3, 1998

TUNCELI, Turkey (AP) _ Kurdish rebels stopped a minibus near this eastern Turkish city on Wednesday and opened fire with automatic weapons, killing nine passengers, Turkey’s Anatolia news agency said.

Another two passengers were wounded in the attack near the village of Pertek, the agency said. The rebels fled before troops reached the scene.

The guerrillas, fighting for autonomy in Turkey’s southeast, often target civilians, especially when under pressure from the Turkish military.

The army recently escalated an offensive against guerrillas. On Tuesday, the military said it had killed 589 rebels this year.

In new clashes Wednesday, soldiers killed six Kurdish rebels in the southeastern province of Siirt, Anatolia said.

About 37,000 people have been killed in the fighting since 1984.

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