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Turkey bombs PKK bases in Iraq
Kurdistan Workers' Party spokesman says one fighter and two civilians injured.
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2008 14:14 GMT
Turkey's leaders want to extend a mandate allowing incursions against the PKK in Iraq [AFP]

At least 10 Turkish fighter planes have bombed suspected Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) positions in northern Iraq.

The raids that took place on Thursday hit PKK sites in the Qandil mountains on the Iranian-Iraqi border, where the Turkish army says the outlawed group's leaders are  based.

Brigadier General Metin Gurak, head of the general staff's media office, said Turkish jets had struck 16 suspected targets before returning to their bases in Turkey.

Ahmed Deniz, a PKK spokesman, said the attack began at 2200 local time on Thursday, damaging a school and wounding three people, including one PKK fighter and two civilians.

Deniz said the operation had lasted two hours and had hit the villages of Kutak, Surage and Kozala.

Azad Wassu, mayor of the Iraqi town of Jarawa near the Qandil mountains, said five families had fled their homes but there were no casualties or damage.

Ankara says thousands of PKK fighters use northern Iraq to stage attacks inside Turkey.

Gurak said: "The north of Iraq is no longer a safe haven."  

Cross-border strikes

The Turkish government has asked parliament to extend a mandate, which expires next month, to launch further military operations against the PKK in Iraq.

Since a land offensive in February, Turkey's military has confined its cross-border operations to air strikes and the shelling of PKK targets.

The PKK took up arms against the government in 1984 to fight for self-rule in parts of the country's southeast and east.

Tens of thousands have been killed in the fighting.

Gurak said six PKK fighters and one soldier had been killed in separate clashes on Thursday.

Source:
Agencies
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