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Turkish army launches incursion into northern Iraq

RIA Novosti

17:08 20/10/2011 ANKARA, October 20 (RIA Novosti) - The Turkish army has launched a major operation in northern Iraq in response to attacks by Kurdish rebels, the Turkish armed forces said.

At least 24 Turkish soldiers were killed and 18 injured in the early morning hours on Wednesday in attacks near the Iraqi border. Turkey said the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) was behind the attacks.

A few hours later Turkish commandos crossed into Iraq, while Turkish air power and artillery pounded separatist mountain bases.

The UN and EU consider the PKK to be a terrorist organization. It is fighting to establish Kurdish autonomy in southeastern Turkey. More than 40,000 people have died in the 25-year conflict.

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