DIYARBAKIR, TURKEY: Kurdish militants detonated a bomb which killed three Turkish soldiers in southeast Turkey, a provincial governor’s office said on Tuesday, adding that five rebels were killed in clashes in the region.

The violence occurred as the military conducted operations against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in the Uludere area of Sirnak province, near the border with Iraq, the governor’s office said.

It did not say when the deaths occurred. Five Turkish soldiers were also wounded in the remotely-detonated bomb blast, the statement said, adding that army operations in the area were continuing.

Twin assaults: Turkey defiant as Kurdish militants claim carnage

More than 40,000 people have been killed in the PKK’s insurgency, which it launched against the Turkish state in 1984.

It is designated as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union.

Since the collapse of a two-year ceasefire in July 2015 the mainly Kurdish southeast has suffered some of the worst violence since the conflict began.

In the last five months alone, the Turkish armed forces have killed 886 PKK militants in southeast Turkey and the mountains of northern Iraq where the PKK leadership is based, the state-run Anadolu news agency said on Sunday.