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Europe

Turkey Bombs Kurdish Rebel Targets in Iraq

The Turkish Air Force conducted bombing raids Tuesday on suspected Kurdish separatist positions in northern Iraq in the latest upsurge of violence between the two sides.

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Violence has flared between Turkey and Kurdish rebels sheltering in Iraq

According to a short statement posted on its official Web site, the Turkish military said it had hit a number of suspected Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) positions in the areas of Hakurk, Avasin-Basyan and Zap. The raids were backed up by Turkish Army artillery fire.

The statement said the only aim of the raids were PKK targets and that precautions were taken not to harm civilians in the Hakurk region.

Turkey has conducted numerous airstrikes on PKK positions inside northern Iraq since a PKK attack earlier this month on a military border post left 17 Turkish soldiers dead.

The PKK uses mountainous northern Iraq as a base from which to launch attacks inside Turkey.

Ankara blames the separatist group for the deaths of more than 35,000 people since the early 1980s when the PKK began its fight for independence or autonomy for the mainly Kurdish-populated south-east of Turkey.

The PKK is considered by the United States and the European Union to be a terrorist group.

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