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Page last updated at 15:46 GMT, Tuesday, 29 July 2008 16:46 UK

Turkish jets 'attack PKK hideout'

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

Turkish warplanes have attacked a hideout of the rebel Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, the Turkish army says.

Turkish jets destroyed a PKK base in the operation, killing an unspecified number of militants, the army said.

But both the PKK and a local official have said there were no casualties.

The air strikes come two days after a bomb attack in the Turkish city of Istanbul, killed 17 people. The Turkish government blamed Kurdish militants.

The PKK has denied responsibility for Sunday's bombing.

Iraq hideouts

Up to 40 PKK militants were based in a cave in the Qandil mountains in northern Iraq, which the Turkish military said was totally destroyed in the attacks.

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"Most of those terrorists outside the cave along with an unspecified number inside were killed", Turkey's military said in a statement on its website.

The statement also said Turkish warplanes attacked a second target in the Zap mountain region along the Turkish border with Iran, but did not give any details.

However, there was no independent confirmation of the deaths.

Abdullah Ibrahim Ahmed, head of nearby Sangesar district, told the Reuters news agency the bombardment "caused structural damage" but there were no casualties.

Turkey accuses PKK rebels of using hideouts in northern Iraq as part of their campaign for self-rule in mainly Kurdish south-east Turkey.

Some 40,000 people have been killed since the PKK launched its campaign in 1984.


SEE ALSO
Rendezvous with the PKK
29 Jul 08 |  Europe
Turkey faces bombing aftermath
28 Jul 08 |  Europe
Timeline: Turkey attacks
27 Jul 08 |  Europe


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