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Turkish Military Attacks Kurdish Rebels in Northern Iraq


Turkey's military say its warplanes and artillery units have attacked dozens of Kurdish rebel bases in northern Iraq.

A military statement says 31 positions of the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) were successfully hit late Friday in northern Iraq's Harkurk region. A PKK spokesman says the rebels suffered no casualties in the offensive.

Turkish officials have been considering new actions against Kurdish rebels following recent attacks on security forces that killed 24 people, including 17 Turkish soldiers.

Turkey's President Abdullah Gul said Saturday Turkey has been talking to Iraq's Kurdish government about taking military action against the PKK, which launches attacks on Turkey from bases in northern Iraq.

Meanwhile, the governor of Istanbul, Muammer Guler, says police have captured a suspected Kurdish female suicide bomber carrying about nine kilograms of explosives. The arrest was made in a downtown district, Sisli.

In other news, Iranian state media say members of an Iranian religious militia killed four Kurdish separatists in a clash this week near the Iraqi border.

The fighting between members of the Basij militia and rebels with the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan, or PEJAK, took place late Tuesday in Kurdistan province in western Iran. Iran accuses PEJAK of using bases in Iraq to launch attacks inside Iran. The separatist rebel group has close ties to the PKK.

Turkish lawmakers recently extended 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, AP and Reuters.

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