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 Four Kurdish PKK leaders killed in blast in Iraqi Kurdistan -Turkish TV

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Four Kurdish PKK leaders killed in blast in Iraqi Kurdistan  27.7.2007 

 




July 27, 2007

ISTANBUL, -- Four leading members of the Turkish separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) were killed in an explosion at their camp in border region of Kurdistan (northern Iraq), Turkish private broadcaster CNN Turk reported on Friday.

The broadcaster said the explosion occurred in the Kandil mountains. No further details were immediately available.

Turkey has threatened to carry out a military incursion into neighbouring Kurdistan (northern Iraq) to crush thousands of PKK rebels they believe use the mountainous region as a base.

Ankara has raised troop levels in the restive southeast of Turkey to more than 200,000, with many near the Iraq border, senior security sources say, as part of a crackdown on rebels.

The AK Party government, which was re-elected in a parliamentary election on Sunday, has resisted calls from the army to authorise a cross-border operation, while refusing to rule one out.

Meanwhile, in Diarbakir a Turkish soldier was killed overnight in a clash with Kurdish guerrillas in northeast Turkey, security officials said on Friday.

The rebels opened fire on troops during a security operation in Giresun province, near the Black Sea, well to the north of the region where clashes usually occur between the rebels and troops, they said.

The United States, Turkey's NATO ally, has urged Ankara not to go into relatively stable Kurdistan (northern Iraq).

Attacks on Turkish soldiers and civilians have escalated in recent months and a limited number of troops have crossed the border in so-called "hot pursuit" operations against rebels, according to security sources.

Officials in Kurdistan autonomous region (northern Iraq) have accused Turkey's army of shelling rebel targets inside the border.

The PKK launched its armed campaign for an ethnic homeland in southeast Turkey in 1984 and Ankara blames it for more than 37,000 deaths since then.

Copyright , respective author or news agency, Reuters

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