Iraq govt unaware of Turkish incursion -Zebari

Fri Feb 22, 2008 4:27am EST

(Adds Kurdish regional government denying incursion)

BAGHDAD, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Iraq's government is not aware of any Turkish ground offensive into northern Iraq overnight to hunt down Kurdish PKK guerrillas based there, Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari said on Friday.

"Until this minute, we have not received anything from the border guards about Turkish forces crossing the international border," Zebari told Reuters by telephone.

Turkey's military said it had launched the ground offensive, backed by fighter aircraft, to attack Kurdish PKK guerrillas.

The Kurdish Regional Government in the largely autonomous area denied there had been any ground incursion.

"There has been no incursion by the Turkish forces in the Kurdistan region," said Falah Mustapha, in charge of foreign relations for the KRG.

A PKK source also denied there had been any ground attack.

Turkish broadcaster NTV reported, without citing sources, that 10,000 troops had entered Iraqi territory.

(Reporting by Mariam Karouny, Writing by Dean Yates, Editing by Ross Colvin)



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