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Turkey renews air strikes on Kurdish rebels inside Iraq: military

by Staff Writers
Ankara (AFP) July 27, 2008
Turkey carried out fresh air strikes in the early hours of Sunday on Kurdish rebel positions inside northern Iraq, the Turkish military announced.

Twelve targets linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the Kandil mountains -- where the rebels have their headquarters -- were targeted, the military said on its website.

There was no word of casualties in the air raids that began at midnight (2100 GMT). They were the first air strikes reported since Thursday when the Turkish military said it struck 13 PKK targets inside northern Iraq.

"Terrorist losses are undergoing evaluation," the military said.

It added: "The anti-terrorist operations were carried out with determination inside the country and abroad in view of military needs".

The PKK, listed as a terrorist group by Ankara and much of the international community, has been fighting for self-rule in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast since 1984. The conflict has claimed more than 37,000 lives.

Three days ago, inside Turkey, two children were killed in a mine blast outside a small village near the town of Lice in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir, which has a large Kurdish population, a security source said.

Another child and an adult were also injured in the explosion which occurred when the children handled a mine they found in a field outside the village, the source added.

Turkish warplanes have been bombing PKK positions in the mountains of northern Iraq since December 16.

In February, the army conducted a week-long ground offensive against PKK bases in the region, killing at least 240 militants and destroying dozens of hideouts, training camps and ammunition depots.

Ankara estimates that more than 2,000 militants have taken refuge in Kurdish-run northern Iraq, using camps there as a jumping board for attacks on Turkish targets across the border.

The Turkish government has a one-year parliamentary authorisation for cross-border military action against the PKK, which expires in October.

The United States, which spearheaded the March 2003 invasion of Iraq that overthrew Saddam Hussein's regime, has backed its NATO ally by providing real-time intelligence on PKK movements in Iraq.

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Turkey bombs Kurdish targets in Iraq: military
Ankara (AFP) July 24, 2008
Turkish warplanes bombed Kurdish rebel hideouts in northern Iraq overnight -- the latest in a series of air raids in the region since mid-December -- the military said Thursday.

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