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Turkish jets bomb targets in north Iraq

Arbil, July 10, 2010

Turkish warplanes on Saturday bombed sites in northern Iraq, wounding one civilian and damaging property, Iraqi officials said.

A man was wounded in the remote village of Sidakan in Arbil province located near the borders with Turkey and Iran, Mayor Ahmed Qader told Reuters.

The bombing occurred at 3 am (0000 GMT) and hit five sites, according to PUKMedia, the website of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.

"Turkish jetfighters violated Kurdistan region airspace... and bombed border villages and hills," it said. "The bombardment caused panic among the residents of the area and big material damage to citizens' farms and livestock."

Turkey has conducted a number of aerial raids on what it suspects are PKK sites in recent weeks after the rebels called off a 14-month one-sided truce on June 1 and stepped up attacks on army targets.

The strikes could not be immediately confirmed with the Turkish military.

Witnesses in the Turkish city of Diyarbakir said they heard military planes take off about 2 am (2300 GMT).

Separately, two PKK fighters were killed in the Turkish province of Van late on Friday after they refused to surrender to security forces, Turkish officials said on condition of anonymity.

The PKK took up arms against Turkey in 1984 in a bid for an independent Kurdish homeland. They have since scaled back their demands to greater political and cultural rights for Turkey's estimated 14 million Kurds. More than 40,000 people, mainly guerrilla fighters, have died in the conflict.

Most PKK fighters are based in northern Iraq, which is run by the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). The central government in Baghdad and the KRG have both protested the bombings as a violation of Iraqi sovereignty. – Reuters




Tags: Iraq | Turkey | Bombing | kurds | Arbil | warplanes |

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