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.