May 4, 2009 / 4:25 PM / 9 years ago

Iran shells Iraqi Kurdistan village

SULAIMANIYA, Iraq, May 4 (Reuters) - Iran shelled a Kurdish village in a remote area of northern Iraq’s largely autonomous Kurdistan region on Monday, causing damage to buildings but no casualties, the region’s border police said. Brigadier-General Ahmed Ghraib, head of the border police of Kurdistan’s Sulaimaniya province, where the shelling took place, said the shells landed in a mountainous area bordering Iran.

On Saturday, Iran shelled Kurdish rebel positions in Iraqi Kurdistan and used helicopters to fire on them on the Iranian side of the border.

"Iranian shelling started at 11 a.m. (0800 GMT) until 1:15 p.m. (1015 GMT) against the villages of Penjwin. No casualties occurred except damage (to buildings)," Ghraib told Reuters

"The people of these villages have deserted the area because of the shelling," he added.

The Iranian attacks followed clashes between Iran’s police and guerrillas from the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which took up arms in 1984 for an ethnic homeland in southeast Turkey.

Gunmen killed 10 Iranian police in that firefight in western Iran on April 25. Ten PJAK fighters were also killed, Iranian state media said. (Reporting by Sherko Raouf; Writing by Tim Cocks)

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