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Archive for Thursday, October 25, 2007

Kurdish official denies presence of rebel bases

October 25, 2007

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— Turkish warplanes bombed targets in northern Iraq on Wednesday as tensions remain high between the two countries over Turkey's allegations that Kurdish rebels have taken refuge in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.

In Baghdad, politicians acknowledged that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki lacked the political and military muscle needed to fulfill his pledge to crack down on rebels from the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, who last week killed 12 Turkish soldiers and captured eight in an ambush in Turkey.

Iraqi Kurdish officials indicated that they were unlikely to help in any crackdown, with the regional government's spokesman denying that there are PKK bases in northern Iraq.

"We believe that the statements of Mr. Maliki about closing the centers of the PKK don't apply to us because we do not have any centers," the spokesman, Jamal Abdullah, said.

A PKK spokesman said that the Turkish planes attacked several targets near the town of Mergsur, about 90 miles north of Irbil, Iraqi Kurdistan's capital. No PKK forces were in the area at the time, said the spokesman, Abdul Rahman al-Chadrachi.

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