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New Turkish offensive against Kurdish rebels in Iraq

Latest update : 2008-05-11

Turkey says it launched an air offensive against Kurdish separatist rebels into northern Iraq in retaliation for Saturday's attack against a Turkish military base. The number of casualties is not known.

 

ISTANBUL - Turkey said on Saturday it had launched air and artillery attacks against Kurdish separatist rebels in northern Iraq overnight after an insurgent attack on a Turkish military base killed six soldiers.

 

"Targets proven to belong to the PKK terrorist organisation in northern Iraq were put under heavy and effective fire by our air force planes with the support of artillery," the statement said.

 

The attacks, which began after 1500 GMT, targeted members of a Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) group who had escaped into Iraq from Turkey after an attack on gendarme headquarters that resulted in the deaths of the six soldiers.

 

The statement, released on the military's website, said that efforts were being made to determine the extent of the casualties inflicted on the Kurdistan Workers Party.

 

Turkey blames the PKK for the deaths of 40,000 people since 1984 when the group took up arms to fight for a Kurdish homeland in southeast Turkey. Ankara, like the European Union and the United States considers the group a terrorist organisation.

Date created : 2008-05-11

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