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Turkish jets bomb Kurdish rebels in Iraq, Turkey

AFP [1]
Tuesday, Oct 7, 2008

Turkish warplanes on Tuesday bombed more than 20 Kurdish rebel targets both inside the country and across the border in northern Iraq, the Turkish army said.

The jets struck 21 targets belonging to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the Avashin-Basyan region in northern Iraq as well as the Buzul and Iki Yaka mountains in Turkey’s southeast, it said in a statement.

“The planes returned safely to base after successfully completing their mission,” the statement said, without further details.

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The raid was the fourth strike against PKK hideouts inside Iraq since the militants killed 17 soldiers in a bloody attack on Friday at a military outpost close to the border, in the bloodiest fighting this year.

Turkey charges that thousands of PKK rebels enjoy a safe haven in the autonomous Kurdish-run north of Iraq and use the region as a springboard for attacks on Turkish targets across the border.

The PKK — considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union — took up arms for self-rule in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed about 44,000 lives.