Turkish warplanes bomb PKK in north Iraq: rebels

AFP , Friday 23 Sep 2011

Rebel officials say Turkish warplanes have bombed suspected PKK bases in northern Iraq

Turkish warplanes have bombed suspected rear bases of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, rebel officials said on Friday.

The bombings began late on Thursday evening and continued past midnight (2100 GMT), and come after Ankara threatened earlier this month to launch a ground incursion into Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region where the PKK maintains bases.

They said there were no casualties as a result of the bombings, which targeted locations in the Qandil mountains, near Iraq's border with Turkey.

"There have been no casualties from the attacks, which continued until 1:00 am (2200 GMT Thursday)," said Dozdar Hammo, a PKK spokesman. "There were attacks against the Qandil mountains area."

A PKK source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the attacks began at 11:30 pm Thursday evening, and targeted the Kriskan village in the Qandil mountains area.

On Thursday, a radical Kurdish group that Turkey says is a PKK front claimed responsibility for a bomb attack two days earlier that killed three people in the centre of Ankara. The PKK says the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons is a splinter group outside its control.

Kurdish rebels fighting for autonomy in southeastern Turkey have recently escalated their attacks on Turkish targets.

Three security officials were killed in two separate attacks in east and southeast Turkey, on Wednesday and Thursday.

The successive assaults come days after the Turkish government threatened to launch a ground incursion against PKK camps in northern Iraq.

The Turkish air force has bombed suspected PKK targets repeatedly since August 17.

The PKK took up arms in Kurdish-majority southeastern Turkey in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed about 45,000 lives.

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