Turkish strikes 'kill scores of PKK fighters'

Turkish military says up to 100 Kurdish separatists killed and dozens injured in days of air strikes over northern Iraq.

    Turkey resumed air strikes after nine soldiers were killed in an ambush last week [EPA]

    Turkish air attacks on northern Iraq have killed between 90 and 100 Kurdish fighters, with 132 targets struck in six days of air raids, according to the Turkish military.

    In a statement on Tuesday, the armed forces said it had information that more than 80 Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) fighters had been wounded in the operations, which it said would continue.

    Turkey last Wednesday resumed a bombing campaign against bases of the separatist group after a lull of more than a year in response to a PKK attack that killed nine soldiers in southeastern Turkey.

    On Sunday, seven Iraqis were reportedly killed in a Turkish air strike near Qalat Dizah, a town in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region. Ankara did not confirm the strike.

    The PKK, which the US and the European Union consider a terrorist organisation, is fighting for autonomy in Turkey's Kurdish-majority southeast.

    Iraq-Turkey border

    Turkey's military has said the jets are targeting PKK sites only - including shelters, anti-aircraft gun positions and ammunition depots - showing "the necessary" care not to harm civilians.

    The fighters have long used northern Iraq as a springboard for hit-and-run attacks on Turkish targets.

    Turkey has carried out a number of cross-border air raids and ground incursions over the years but has failed to stop infiltration of PKK fighters through the mountainous border.

    The previous offensive was last summer, when warplanes launched a series of raids on suspected PKK positions and ground troops took part in a day-long incursion.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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