DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - Turkey's army said on Friday that five soldiers were killed and eight wounded in clashes with Kurdish militants in the southeastern district of Cukurca.

Security sources said that soldiers carrying out a security check on the road near Cukurca in Hakkari province bordering Iraq and Iran came under an attack by Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants.

The army had lost contact with one other soldier during the clashes and a search operation was under way, a statement from the military said.

The Turkish military has frequently carried out air strikes in the area in recent months after a 2-1/2-year ceasefire and peace process between the government and the PKK broke down last summer.

Thousands of militants and hundreds of civilians and soldiers have been killed since then and a handful of cities in the predominantly Kurdish southeast have been engulfed in the worst violence since the 1990s.

More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict since the PKK - designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union - began its insurgency in 1984.

(Reporting by Seyhmus Cakan; Writing by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Louise Ireland)