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Turkey Carries Out More Air Offensives in Northern Iraq

By VOA News

Turkish warplanes have struck suspected Kurdish rebel hideouts in northern Iraq for the fourth time in five days. There are no immediate reports of casualties.

The Turkish military said the warplanes hit eight caves and hideouts used by guerrillas of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) Wednesday. The military says it will continue its offensive against PKK separatists inside Turkey and across the border in northern Iraq.

Tuesday, the Turkish military said it has killed 150 to 175 Kurdish rebels since the middle of the month, when its warplanes began attacking the PKK across the border. It says the death toll does not include rebels killed in hideouts and caves.

There has been no independent verification of rebel casualties.

Also on Tuesday, the Turkish military said troops killed five PKK rebels in a battle in southeastern Turkey near the Iraqi border.

It says helicopters also took part in the operation in Sirnak province.

Ankara has threatened to attack PKK bases in northern Iraq in response to a series of deadly ambushes by the group in southeastern Turkey in recent months. The Turkish parliament authorized cross-border operations against the group in October.

The PKK has been fighting for self-rule in southeastern Turkey since 1984. The conflict has killed more than 30,000 people.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

... Payvand News - 12/26/07 ... --

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