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Turkish Jets Reportedly Hit PKK Targets In Iraq


ANKARA (Reuters) -- Turkish warplanes bombed Kurdish guerrilla targets in northern Iraq on December 27/28, Turkish army sources said.

Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets in the Hakurke region of northern Iraq were hit on the night of December 27 and several other targets near the Iraqi-Turkish border were bombed on December 28, the sources said.

The strikes in a mountainous border area claimed no civilian casualties, said Lieutenant-Colonel Ihsan Kamal, commander of the border guards' operation room in Iraq's largely autonomous Kurdistan region.

"This is becoming routine, Turkish warplanes targeting the border area. We are not worried about civilian casualties because these areas are deserted," he said.

But he added he had no idea of PKK casualties.

Turkish army sources said the army was also carrying out operations against mobile PKK groups spotted inside Turkey near the Iraqi border.

Ankara has stepped up military action against the PKK in recent months as casualties on both sides have risen.

Turkey, the European Union, and United States call the PKK a terrorist organisation. Around 40,000 people have been killed in fighting between the PKK and the military since 1984, when the PKK took up arms with the aim of establishing an ethnic homeland in southeast Turkey.
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