N.Iraq condemns 'Turkey's PKK shellings'

Iraq's government condemned the latest shelling of its semi-autonomous Kurdistan region and urged Turkey to hold talks to resolve Ankara's concerns about PKK who are based in the border area.

N.Iraq condemns 'Turkey's PKK shellings'
Turkey's army heavily shelled PKK targets just inside the border of northern Iraq on Wednesday, Kurdish officials said on Thursday.

Iraq's government condemned the latest shelling of its semi-autonomous Kurdistan region and urged Turkey to hold talks to resolve Ankara's concerns about PKK who are based in the border area.

Jabar Yawer, deputy minister for security forces in Iraq's Kurdistan, said about 100 shells were fired around the town of Zakho in northern Iraq. No one was hurt but many residents were forced to flee, he told Reuters.

The barrage followed the killing of three Turkish soldiers when their vehicle hit a PKK landmine near the border with Iraq, he said.

Iraqi Kurdish officials said they were not aware of Turkish war planes carrying out bombing raids on Wednesday although some witnesses said they saw a plane bomb a mountain top.

Turkey, which never comments on reports it has carried out such military action, accuses PKK militants of using bases in the mountains of northern Iraq to strike at its forces.

"The Iraqi government calls on Turkey to stop these operations to return to dialogue and understanding," the statement said.

The Turkish army has raised troop levels in the country's restive southeast to 200,000, security sources say. It refuses to rule out the possibility of a cross-border operation.

Turkey's military is known to sometimes shell PKK targets inside Iraq, as well as stage small raids across the border.


Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Temmuz 2007, 17:05
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