Turkey kills seven Kurd fighters crossing from Syria


ISTANBUL – Turkish security forces killed seven Kurdish militants early on Friday after a large group of PKK fighters crossed over the border from Syria, Turkish military officials said.
It was the largest number killed in a firefight with the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party, since last summer. The PKK called off a six-month long ceasefire in February raising fears that violence would pick up before a national election in Turkey on June 12. Military operations were continuing in the area near the site of the clash by the town of Hassa in Hatay province, said the military officials, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Syria and Turkey went to the brink of war in 1998 over Syrian support for the PKK, but political and economic ties between Ankara and Damascus have flourished since then. Last year, Syrian security forces rounded up 400 suspected PKK. Turkey is closely monitoring unrest that recently flared in Syria, and has encouraged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to make political and economic reforms.