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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 November 2007, 13:44 GMT
Turkey 'bombs PKK Iraq targets'
Turkish troops on patrol near Iraqi border in Sirnak province - 8/11/2007
Turkey has massed thousands of troops on the border with Iraq
Turkish military helicopters have bombed suspected Kurdish rebel positions in northern Iraq, Iraqi officials have said.

Several empty villages and an abandoned police post were hit without causing casualties, the officials said.

The strikes came as Ankara said four Turkish soldiers were killed in a clash with Kurdish rebels in Sirnak province.

Turkey has threatened large-scale attacks into Iraq to prevent Kurdish rebels launching attacks into Turkey.

Restraint urged

Kurdish rebels have killed at least 40 Turkish soldiers and civilians in the past month.

Dozens of rebels have also been killed over the same period, Turkey's military says, during which the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has stepped up its attacks.

Click to view a detailed map of the border region

Ankara stiffened its rhetoric after a PKK ambush on 21 October which killed 12 Turkish soldiers.

Turkey has since about 100,000 troops on the Iraqi border and has threatened to make cross-border incursions to deal with the rebels.

Turkey's Western allies - and Iraq - have urged restraint, but the US has agreed to share intelligence about Kurdish rebel positions.

The PKK - which is treated as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the EU and US - has waged a violent campaign for Kurdish autonomy since 1984, resulting in more than 30,000 deaths.




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