Page last updated at 11:53 GMT, Friday, 2 May 2008 12:53 UK

Turkish planes bomb rebel Kurds

Turkey map

Turkey's air force has launched fresh bombing raids against bases of separatist Kurds in northern Iraq.

Several Turkish jets began the raids at 2300 (2000 GMT) on Thursday, the Turkish military said. All the planes returned safely to base, it added.

The strikes targeted Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) guerrillas based in the Qandil Mountains in northern Iraq.

Turkey has staged several cross-border raids into northern Iraq over the past few months in pursuit of the rebels.

A television station run by the Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) said several villages in the Pishdar district were bombed by Turkish jets on Thursday night. It said there were no casualties in the villages.

In February, Ankara launched a week-long ground offensive in northern Iraq which, it said, targeted bases used by up to 3,000 Kurdish rebels as a springboard for attacks across the border.

It accuses Iraq of failing to stop the PKK - who are fighting for greater autonomy in south-eastern Turkey - from using the area as a safe haven.

The PKK is branded a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and EU.

More than 30,000 people have been killed since it began its armed campaign in 1984.

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