Page last updated at 07:55 GMT, Monday, 13 October 2008 08:55 UK

Turkish planes bomb northern Iraq


Turkish warplanes have bombed Kurdish rebel positions in northern Iraq, Turkey's military says.

The hit targeted a Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) base in Iraq's mountainous Zap region, the Turkish military said.

No details of casualties were given, but the military said its jets bombed the hideout of "a PKK group which included high-level members".

It was the seventh cross-border air strike since a PKK attack on a Turkish outpost on 3 October killed 17 troops.

Turkey has staged other cross-border raids into northern Iraq over recent months in pursuit of the rebels.

'Successful action'

The Turkish government accuses Iraq of failing to stop the guerrillas - who are fighting for greater autonomy in south-east Turkey - from using the mountainous area as a safe haven.

PKK fighters practice shooting in Northern Iraq
The PKK has been fighting for Kurdish self-rule for the last 25 years

On Wednesday, Turkey's parliament extended the army's mandate to carry out cross-border raids against rebel positions by one year.

The same day, armed gunmen attacked a police bus near the city of Diyarbakir in Turkey's predominantly Kurdish south-east.

Four policemen and a civilian were killed in the strike that was later claimed as a "successful action" by the PKK.

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

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

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.

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