Wed, Jan 07, 2009 - Page 6 News List

Turkey and Iran bombard Kurdish rebels in Iraq: PKK

AFP , QANDIL, IRAQ

Turkish warplanes and Iranian artillery bombarded Kurdish rebel hideouts in northern Iraq on Monday, a Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) spokesman said.

“Turkish planes and Iranian artillery bombarded Aquwan and the Iranians bombarded Maradu. The bombardment lasted for about one hour starting from 7pm,” the spokesman, Ahmed Denis said.

The spokesman had no immediate word on any casualties.

The fresh bombardment of the remote mountains where the borders of Iraq, Iran and Turkey meet follows talks in Ankara on Dec. 24 between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Iraqi counterpart, Nuri al-Maliki.

In those talks, the two governments agreed to step up cooperation against PKK rebels operating rear-bases in northern Iraq.

Denis criticized the Iraqi position, accusing it of compromising its sovereignty.

“How could they allow a neighboring country to bombard their own land and people?” he asked.

Hours after Maliki’s visit to Ankara, three Turkish soldiers were killed and nine wounded when PKK rebels armed with automatic weapons attacked an army vehicle in the border town of Cizre.

Turkish warplanes then bombed rebel hideouts in Khwakurk and Khnera on Dec. 28.

On the eve of Maliki’s visit, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who is himself a Kurd, pledged that both the central government in Baghdad and the autonomous Kurdish administration in northern Iraq were determined to stop the PKK using rear-bases in the region.

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