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Helicopters strike PKK targets within Turkey

The Turkish air force has launched strikes against PKK targets, killing several militants. Although Turkey regularly conducts airstrikes against the PKK in Iraq, the latest occurred inside of Turkey.

Turkish attack helicopters struck a group of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters in southeastern Turkey on Wednesday, announced security sources.

The attacks killed nine militants so far.

The Turkish security sources said their Cobra helicopters launched the attack early in the morning on Wednesday as the PKK fighters traveled through a mountainous region. They were heading towards the Idil district of Sirnak province, which is located close to the border with Syria.

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Turkey regularly launches strikes against PKK bases in northern Iraq, but it is much more uncommon for jets to launch attacks inside the country.

In the wake of the recent bomb attack in Ankara, Turkish military forces have stepped up their campaign against the PKK by conducting increased strikes in Syria and Iraq. A Kurdish splinter group claimed responsibility for the bomb attacks which killed 28 people.

Parts of Idil were placed under round-the-clock curfew last week as part of the operations against the PKK militants. Around 200,000 people, mostly Kurdish citizens of Turkey, have been displaced by the violence and curfews.

Hundreds have been killed in the violence which erupted last July after a two-year ceasefire collapsed.

rs/jil (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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