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Turkey Bombs PKK In Northern Iraq Again


ANKARA (Reuters) -- Turkish warplanes bombed Kurdish guerrilla targets in northern Iraq on October 17, killing four PKK rebels in the latest of a series of aerial bombardments this month, the Turkish military said.

The general staff said on its website that the Turkish jets hit PKK bases in northern Iraq's Qandil mountains on October 17 and that all planes had returned to their bases.

Military sources, who declined to be named, earlier told Reuters that four PKK guerrillas were killed and several wounded in the bombardment of Qandil mountains.

The militants have killed a number of Turkish soldiers in recent weeks, piling pressure on the government and military to strike back.

Turkey's military said on October 17 that it believed 35 Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) rebels had been killed in the recent fighting in southeast Turkey.

The military told reporters they had picked up communication between rebels where they referred to the deaths of PKK members in clashes this week on Cudi mountain in Sirnak, near the border with Iraq.

On October 16, five soldiers and five PKK rebels were killed in clashes. The Turkish military said one of its helicopters had crashed because of a technical failure, killing a soldier and wounding 15. The PKK said it had shot the helicopter down.

NATO-member Turkey has staged almost daily artillery and aerial attacks on the PKK in southeast Turkey and northern Iraq since a PKK attack killed 17 soldiers this month.

Turkey says it holds the PKK, considered a terrorist organisation by the United States and the European Union, responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people since it launched its armed campaign for an ethnic Kurdish homeland in southeast Turkey in 1984.
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