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Turkish officials say Kurdish rebels shot and killed three Turkish soldiers in an ambush late on July 23 amid rising militancy in the area.

Security forces, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the incident took place in Mardin province, which lies deep in the country's southeast -- a region that has seen clashes between the Turkish army and Kurdish rebels in recent weeks.

Officials said the militants were tied to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

The group announced an end to its six-month-old cease-fire in February and is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community.

Its 27-year conflict with Turkey has cost some 40,000 lives.

compiled from agency reports