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Turkey Extends Mandate to Fight PKK Rebels in Iraq

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Turkey's parliament on Tuesday extended the mandate that allows the military to strike at Kurdish separatist rebels based in neighboring northern Iraq.

The move to extend the mandate by one year coincides with Turkish government efforts to garner support for reforms to boost the rights of Kurds and encourage the rebels to lay down their arms.

Turkish warplanes and artillery units have staged a series of attacks on rebel bases in northern Iraq during the past two years, as part of Turkey's battle against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

The PKK has been fighting for Kurdish autonomy in southeastern Turkey for 25 years. The conflict has killed more than 30,000 people.

Turkey and much of the international community consider the PKK a terrorist group.

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