World News

Turkish planes bomb northern Iraq: guards

SULAIMANIYA, Iraq (Reuters) - Turkish warplanes bombed targets in northern Iraq on Tuesday, destroying a remote bridge but causing no casualties, an Iraqi border guard said, in an apparent attack on Kurdish separatist PKK fighters.

The Turkish military has been stepping up attacks in recent months on Kurdish PKK rebels, who it says use north Iraq’s sparsely populated terrain as a base from which to launch attacks in southeastern Turkey.

The bombing in the mountainous area around the town of Amadiyah, near the Turkish border, started at 1am (1000 GMT) and carried on until daylight, Lieutenant-Colonel Ihsan Kamal, commander of the border guards’ operation room in Iraq’s largely autonomous Kurdistan region, told Reuters.

Turkey, the European Union and United States call the PKK a terrorist organization. Around 40,000 people have been killed in fighting between the PKK and the military since 1984, when the PKK took up arms with the aim of establishing an ethnic homeland in southeast Turkey.

On Saturday and Sunday, Turkish jets bombed PKK targets in the Hakurke region of northern Iraq.

Reporting by Sherko Raouf; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Jon Boyle