Turkey hits rebel targets in Iraq

A02022254.jpgTurkish jets have bombed suspected Kurdish insurgents in northern Iraq, the army says. The raid, which also involved artillery attacks, comes just days after Turkey’s parliament voted to extend cross-border raids into Iraq for another year.

In the past week more than 20 people have died in attacks launched from rebel bases across the border.

Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) separatists began a violent fight for autonomy more than 20 years ago.

The PKK is considered a terrorist organisation by the European Union and the United States, which supports Turkey’s military with intelligence.

“A large group of terrorists was detected while trying to sneak into Turkey last night through the border in northern Iraq. Most of them were eliminated with the help of the air force,” said a Turkish army statement.

Turkey’s military did not say how many rebels died in last night’s raid.

The army has launched almost daily cross-border raids in retaliation for a series of deadly attacks by PKK rebels.

Last week militants ambushed and killed 17 Turkish soldiers at a border outpost, and on Wednesday five people died in a machine gun attack on a police bus.

More than 40,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the fighting between since the PKK began its fight for a Kurdish homeland in south-eastern Turkey in 1984.

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