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Iran Fires Artillery at Kurdish Villages in Northern Iraq

Iraqi officials say Iranian forces have fired artillery at several northwestern Iraqi villages suspected of harboring Kurdish rebel bases.

The officials say Iran's military shelled the villages in Iraq's Sulaimaniyah province near the Iranian border for about an hour Thursday. No injuries were reported, but the officials say villagers in the region were terrified.

Iran has not confirmed the artillery strike.

Iraqi officials say Iranian forces appeared to be targeting bases of Kurdish militant group PJAK (the Party for Freedom and Life in Kurdistan). Iran blames the separatists for deadly attacks in northwestern Iran.

Iranian officials say security forces killed a number of militants in Iran's northwestern province of Kordestan during battles Wednesday. The officials accused the militants of trying to disrupt Friday's elections in the province for the Iranian parliament.

PJAK is believed linked to Turkey's outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK.

Turkey accuses PKK militants of using suspected strongholds in northern Iraq to launch attacks against government troops in Turkey.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.