Kurdish guerrillas killed seven Turkish soldiers in an attack on a military convoy in southeastern Turkey on Wednesday, officials said, and the government vowed to retaliate, saying its patience had snapped.

Eleven soldiers were also wounded when a series of blasts hit their convoy in Hakkari province, the latest in a string of attacks by Kurdish guerrillas on the military.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan condemned the killings, saying those who carried out such attacks would "pay the price."

A statement from the provincial governor's office blamed militants from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) for the attack in Hakkari's Cukurca district near the Iraqi border, an area where PKK separatists are active.

"As a result of four separate explosions, seven of our soldiers were killed and 11 were wounded. Security forces have launched operations in the area and these are continuing," the statement said.

Earlier, security sources told Reuters that eight soldiers had been killed in a suspected bomb attack. The PKK did not immediately claim responsibility for the attack.

"Our patience has finally run out. Those who do not distance themselves from terrorism will pay the price," Erdogan told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Istanbul.

President Abdullah Gul also denounced the attacks and said the cost of carrying out such raids against the Turkish state would be "very big," state-run Anatolian news agency said.

Recent Turkish media reports have said Erdogan plans to launch a new offensive against the PKK in southeastern Turkey after the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan ends.

Several hours after the initial attack, another blast in the same area killed a member of the state-backed village guard militia, security sources said. Officials were searching the area for further explosive devices, they said.

The latest deaths come only days after three soldiers were killed in an ambush by PKK guerrillas as they returned from a patrol in the southeastern province of Sirnak.

In July, Kurdish fighters killed 13 troops, the highest death toll for Turkish troops in an attack since the PKK ended a cease-fire in February.

More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict since the PKK took up arms for Kurdish self-rule in 1984.

Last month, the PKK's jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan sent word through his lawyers that he had agreed with Turkish officials to set up a "peace council" aimed at ending the conflict.

Ocalan said the council should be formed within one month, although it was unclear what form it would take.

The proposal came a month after Erdogan's AK Party won an election for a third term in power and two months after Ocalan threatened war unless the government entered talks.

But on Wednesday Erdogan said the government was "finished with talking."

"From now on there is nothing to talk about. We will see what happens," he told reporters, without elaborating.