ISTANBUL - Three Turkish soldiers were killed in clashes with Kurdish rebels near the Syrian border in southern Turkey on Thursday, the provincial governor's office said.

Separately, a provincial leader of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AK Party was shot dead late on Wednesday outside his home in Sirnak, near the frontier with Iraq, an official in the governor's office told Reuters.

In Hatay, fighting between a Turkish military unit and guerrillas belonging to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) erupted in the mountains in the district of Dortyol on Thursday morning, the statement said.

Dogan News Agency said four PKK militants were also killed in the clash, while one soldier was wounded. That report could not immediately be confirmed.

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