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Turkey Denies Troop Incursion into Northern Iraq


Turkey is denying a news report that its troops have crossed into northern Iraq in pursuit of Kurdish rebels.

Turkish NTV television is carrying reports of the denial from the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

A ministry statement says the alleged incursion, first reported in Turkey's Bugun newspaper, never took place. It also says the Iraqi ambassador to Ankara has been informed the allegation is not true.

The newspaper report said Turkish special forces recently spent several days inside Iraq. It also said the Baghdad government had complained.

Members of Turkey's banned Kurdistan Workers Party are thought to mount attacks inside Turkey from mountain bases in mainly Kurdish northern Iraq.

In Turkey Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice heard official Turkish complaints about the cross-border PKK incursions. She said Washington will remain helpful to Turkey in countering the rebels.

More than 30,000 people have been killed since the PKK began its armed campaign in 1984 for Kurdish independence or autonomy in Turkey's southeast.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.
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