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Turkish Air Strikes Target Kurdish Rebels in Iraq


Turkey's military says it has launched air strikes in northern Iraq on Kurdish rebels trying to slip across the border.

A military spokesman says the rebels were detected while trying to enter Turkey late Thursday. He says most of them were killed.

But a spokesman for the rebel Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, says none of its fighters was in the targeted area and that the group suffered no losses from the airstrike.

Turkish officials had been considering new actions against Kurdish rebels following two recent attacks on security forces. A week ago, Kurdish fighters carried out the deadliest rebel attack in months, killing 15 Turkish soldiers in a raid on a military outpost in southeastern Turkey, close to the Iraqi border. Seven people were killed Wednesday in an attack on a police vehicle, also in the southeast.

Earlier this week, Turkish lawmakers approved extending a mandate for the military to continue operations in northern Iraq for another year. Turkey accuses Iraq of not doing enough to stop PKK rebels based in Iraqi Kurdistan. Iraqi officials deny the accusation.

The PKK has been fighting for Kurdish autonomy in southeastern Turkey since 1984. The violence has killed at least 37,000 people.

Turkey, the United States and the European Union consider the PKK a terrorist group.


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

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