Kurdish rebels attacked Turkish military units in south-eastern Turkey yesterday, sparking clashes in which 10 rebels and eight soldiers died, authorities said.

The attack happened in the Daglica area of Hakkari province, which borders northern Iraq's Kurdish areas.

Sixteen Turkish soldiers were injured in the attack, the governor's office in Hakkari said.

A similar rebel attack in the same area in late 2007, in which 12 Turkish soldiers died, triggered an eight-day incursion by the Turkish military into Iraq in February 2008. Rebels use northern Iraq as a base from where to launch attacks on Turkish troops. They are fighting for autonomy in south-east Turkey.