Turkish soldier killed in northern Iraq: Army

AFP , Friday 29 Sep 2017

A Turkish soldier was killed and three others wounded Friday in an attack by Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, the Turkish armed forces said.

The army's statement did not specify where it happened or whether it was within the area of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

The incident occurred just days after Iraqi Kurdistan voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence in a non-binding referendum bitterly opposed by Turkey.

The military pointed the finger at the "separatist terrorist organisation" -- its term for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Turkey has maintained a military presence around Bashiqa outside the city of Mosul much to the annoyance of Baghdad. Bashiqa is not within the area controlled by the KRG.

Although Turkish troops have no ground presence inside the KRG, they regularly conduct air raids against PKK militants who have rear bases in the Qandil mountain area.

The PKK has waged an insurgency inside Turkey since 1984 and is blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by Ankara, Washington and Brussels.

The Turkish military earlier said it struck the Avasin-Basyan and Qandil regions, destroying weapon stores and killing three in PKK camps who were preparing attacks.

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