September 21, 2011

Turkey has bombed the main Kurdish rebel base in northern Iraq and chased rebels in a mountainous area in Turkey’s south-east in response to attacks by the autonomy-seeking guerrillas.

The military said its warplanes had bombed at least 20 more suspected Kurdish rebel targets since late August, vowing to continue with its strikes. It gave no other details but the pro-Kurdish Firat news agency said the jets bombed the main rebel base on Qandil mountain deep inside northern Iraq on Wednesday.

About 2,000 Turkish troops, meanwhile, launched an operation against Kurdish rebels in the mountainous Tunceli province after a group of rebels was detected in the area, said CNN-Turk television. CNN-Turk said it was the largest anti-rebel operation in Tunceli, which is far from the Iraqi border.

The rebels, who are fighting for autonomy in Turkey from their bases in northern Iraq, have escalated attacks in recent months, killing dozens of members of the security forces and at least seven civilians since July. Suspicion also fell on Kurdish militants following Tuesday’s car bomb explosion in Ankara that killed three people and wounded 34 others. No one has claimed responsibility, however, and Islamic and leftist militants are also active in Turkey.

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