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Turkey bombs Kurdish rebel hideouts in Iraq, says army

Latest update : 2008-12-06

The Turkish army has bombed Kurdish rebels targets in northern Iraq, the army's general staff says. According to Turkey, rebels belonging to the Kurdistan Worker's Party launch attacks on Turkey from inside Iraq.

Turkish warplanes on Friday bombed Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq, the army's general staff said.
   
Tha raid targeted Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) hideouts in the mountainous region of Qandil, a major rebel stronghold near the border between Iraq and Turkey, a statement on the army's website said.
   
"The targets... were struck successfully," it said, but made no mention of PKK losses.
   
All the planes returned safely to base, the statement added, underlining that the army took care to prevent collateral damage to civilians.
   
The Turkish army has been hitting PKK targets in northern Iraq -- with intelligence from its ally the United States -- under a fresh one-year mandate which was approved by parliament in October.
   
The last recorded air strike was on December 1.
   
Ankara charges that 2,000 PKK rebels are holed up in the mountains of northern Iraq, where they allegedly enjoy free movement and obtain weapons and explosives for attacks in Turkey.
   
Turkey has often accused the Iraqi Kurds, who run an autonomous administration in the region, of tolerating and even aiding the PKK, but has said it will still pursue dialogue with them to resolve the problem.
   
Last month, Iraq, Turkey and the United States agreed to form a joint committee that would track the threat posed by the PKK and enact measures to stop the militants' activities.
   
The PKK, listed as a terrorist group by Ankara and much of the international community, took up arms for self-rule in Turkey's Kurdish-majority southeast in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed about 44,000 lives.

Date created : 2008-12-06

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