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Turkish Warplanes Hit Suspected PKK In Northern Iraq

ANKARA (Reuters) -- Turkish fighter jets have bombed suspected Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq, the military said.

The military has stepped up its operations against the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in southeast Turkey and across the border in northern Iraq after a series of deadly attacks by the separatists on Turkish soldiers.

"A large group of terrorists were detected while trying to sneak into Turkey last night through the border in northern Iraq. Most of them were eliminated with the assistance of the air force," the Turkish General Staff said in a statement on October 10.

No further details were immediately available.

Turkey's parliament on October 8 approved a government request to extend for another year a mandate to launch military operations against PKK rebels based in northern Iraq, from where they are suspected of crossing into Turkey to attack soldiers.

Turkish authorities are under mounting pressure after a series of deadly attacks on Turkish security forces and police, which has left more than 20 dead in recent days.

Turkey blames the PKK, considered a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, for the deaths of more than 40,000 people since it launched its armed campaign for an ethnic-Kurdish homeland in southeastern Turkey in 1984.

NATO member Turkey has launched almost daily air strikes against suspected PKK bases in northern Iraq since a cross-border ambush last week killed 17 soldiers, the deadliest single attack on the military in more than a year.

Washington is providing intelligence for the air strikes.