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Iraq: U.S. Forces Clashing With Turkish-Kurdish Fighters

Prague, 10 November 2003 (RFE/RL) -- There has been an escalation of violence reported in northern Iraq, with Turkish-Kurdish fighters clashing with U.S. coalition forces. Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said today that U.S. troops and Iraqi Kurdish forces fought in northern Iraq over the weekend with separatist Kurd fighters from Turkey's banned Kurdistan Workers' Party, the PKK.

A U.S. army spokeswoman said that a Kurdish fighter working for the Iraqi border guard force was killed and 13 others were wounded in the confrontation near the Turkish frontier.

Turkey has been pressing the United States to crack down on PKK members in Iraq. But Gul didn't say if the clashes were related to a U.S. pledge to dislodge PKK fighters hiding in northern Iraq.

Elsewhere in northern Iraq, a local oil official was injured and his son was killed when attackers opened fire on their car in the city of Mosul.

The violence comes as the U.S. administrator for Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, today predicted that local and foreign fighters will step up their attacks in Iraq.