In the most violent of the suspected PKK attacks, three people were killed, including a village teacher, and five wounded when a landmine destroyed a minibus in Batman province.
 
'Remotely detonated'
 
Describing the incident, Recep Kizilcik, Batman governor, said: "Our assessment is that the explosion, which targeted a minibus carrying villagers, was remotely detonated. We have sent a helicopter to the site." 

He said members of the state "village guard" forces were travelling in the minibus.

In a separate attack, a military officer and a village guard member were injured in a landmine blast in Siirt province.

In a third incident, an officer and two other soldiers were injured while on patrol when a landmine exploded under their vehicle in Bingol province.

They were flown by helicopter to a nearby hospital and were not seriously injured.

'Important period'

Thousands of people have died since the PKK began its armed campaign for an ethnic homeland in southeast Turkey in 1984.

Abdullah Gul, Turkey's president, said the military's latest air strikes against the fighters in northern Iraq were among the most significant blows yet against the separatist movement.

Speaking in Ankara, he said: "I can say we are in an important period in terms of Iraq and the struggle with the PKK."

Turkey says several thousands of PKK fighters use the remote, mountainous part of northern Iraq as a base from which to stage attacks on targets inside Turkey.

Keen to co-operate

Iraqi authorities say they are keen to co-operate with Nato member Turkey against the PKK, but complain that they have no control over the isolated part of the oil-rich country.

The Turkish military said on Saturday it had killed more than 150 PKK members in air strikes in May, the PKK has denied this.

Thousands of Turkish troops conducted an eight-day large-scale incursion into Iraq in February in which the military said it killed 240 fighters and lost 27 of its own men.