The Anatolian news agency quoted security officials as saying on Saturday that six Kurdish militants had been killed in a military operation near the Iraqi border against members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, PKK.

The helicopter-backed operation came amid an increase in bombings in Turkey and after the worst civil unrest in the mainly Kurdish southeast for more than 10 years.

Arrests

The agency also said that the suspected perpetrator of a bombing at the seaside resort of Kusadasi that killed five people was arrested as he planned a new attack.

The man was caught in the southeastern city of Elazig.

The agency said that the man, who had fled to Iraq after the attack, returned to Turkey to take explosives to militants in Istanbul.
   
Seven other people who were carrying explosives were also arrested in Istanbul, the agency said, adding to 11 people with explosives reported to have been seized on Friday.
   
Violence is rising toward levels seen in the 1990s, the peak of the PKK's campaign for a Kurdish homeland.

The campaign was started in 1984 and has claimed more than 30,000 lives.