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Turkish Leaders Mull Iraq Buffer Zone


Turkish officials are discussing new measures against separatist Kurdish rebels following two deadly attacks on security forces.

Among the proposals civilian and military leaders are considering Thursday is the creation of a buffer zone in northern Iraq. Several government officials cautioned that stationing Turkish forces in Iraq would be problematic.

A senior Iraqi Kurdish lawmaker also objected to the idea. Mahmod Osman told VOA Kurdish service that a buffer zone would not solve the problem, which he said must be resolved politically.

Turkey accuses Iraq of not doing enough to counter PKK rebels based in Iraqi Kurdistan, a charge Iraqi officials deny.

Also Thursday, Turkish police arrested three suspects in Wednesday's attack on a police bus, which killed four cadets and their driver. The suspects were arrested in the mainly Kurdish southeastern city Dyarbakir.

It was the second attack against Turkish security forces in less than a week. PKK rebels crossing from northern Iraq Friday killed 17 soldiers.

Turkey has been battling PKK rebels since 1984, when the group launched an armed campaign for an ethnic homeland in southeast Turkey.

The PKK is classified as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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