DIYARBAKIR, Turkey - Turkish security forces killed 12 Kurdish militants in clashes in southeastern Turkey on Tuesday after the insurgents tried to infiltrate a district military post, security sources said, the latest episode in a growing cycle of violence.

Militants from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, have carried out a spate of attacks on military targets in the past few months, stepping up a 28-year-old insurgency.

PKK rebels tried to storm a military post in Hakkari province's Semdinli district, a mountainous area bordering Iraq and Iran that has witnessed frequent clashes over the past year. Subsequent gun battles broke out with security forces which resulted in 12 PKK members being killed, the sources said. The militants were unable to enter the military post and an operation was launched in the surrounding area, they said.

The recent fighting has been some of the heaviest since the PKK took up arms in 1984 with the aim of carving out a Kurdish state. More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger