Turkish soldiers die in PKK clashes

Fatalities continue on boths sides as troops battle Kurdish separatists.

    Turkish soldiers carry out incursions into northern
    Iraq to target PKK fighters [AFP]

    Another soldier was killed and 15 others wounded, including a brigade general, when a helicopter bringing  reinforcements to the combat zone crashed accidentally, according to the statement.

    PKK casualties

    Five PKK fighters were also killed in clashes with Turkish security forces in the towns of Semdinli and Sirnak, near the Iraqi border, the military said.

    Turkish planes have been regularly bombing PKK hideouts across the border in northern Iraq since an October 3 attack against a Turkish border outpost that killed  17 soldiers.
    The PKK, listed as a terrorist group by Ankara and much of the international community, took up arms for Kurdish self-rule in the southeast in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed at least 44,000  lives.
    Turkish officials estimate about 2,000 PKK fighters are residing in the mountains of northern Iraq, where they allegedly enjoy freedom of movement and can obtain weapons and explosives to stage attacks in Turkey.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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