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Five Turkish police killed by Kurdish militants in southeast region

Three Turkish officers were killed near the Syrian border while two others were killed on border with Iraq
Turkish Police officer Aylin Tasan, (2-R) wife of Sergeant Okan Tasan, cries during the funeral of her soldier husband at Kocatepe Mosque in Ankara, Turkey on 10 September 2015 (AFP)

Five Turkish police officers were killed in two bomb attacks by Kurdish militants in the country's southeast overnight, Turkish security sources said on Wednesday.

Three officers were killed and a fourth was seriously injured in an attack on a police vehicle travelling in the town of Nusaybin, near the Syrian border, a senior security official told AFP.

A further two officers were killed and two were injured in a similar attack in the remote southeastern Hakkari province, on the border with Iraq, the official, who blamed the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), said.

Dozens of soldiers and police have been killed in PKK attacks since a two-year ceasefire between the government and militants broke down in July, when the army launched a major "anti-terror" operation against PKK strongholds in northern Iraq and southeast Turkey.

The state-run press agency Anatolia said Sunday that 118 police and soldiers had been killed and 1,192 "terrorists" killed since the fighting resumed.

The militants do not give figures for their dead.

Some 40,000 people have died since the PKK took up arms in 1984 with the aim of establishing an independent state for Turkey's Kurdish minority.

The rebels' demands have since shifted to gaining greater autonomy for Kurds and broader cultural rights.

The resurgence in violence, which comes ahead of snap parliamentary elections on 1 November, has reversed years of fitful progress towards a lasting peace.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) accuses President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of fomenting the escalation to boost the ruling Justice and Development Party's standing among nationalists in the election.

But the government accused the HDP of siding with the PKK, which is designated as a terrorist organisation by Ankara, the EU, the US and a number of other countries.

On Saturday, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Turkey viewed "terrorist" acts from PKK rebels and Islamic State militants similarly.

There should not be "any distinction between different terrorist organisations," said Davutoglu. 

"We are very upset sometimes when we see some of our allies are making a distinction between Daesh (IS) and PKK terrorism." 

"No religious or cultural or national difference legitimises any terrorist activities," he added.