The Turkish military said five of its troops and 24 Kurdish rebels were killed on Friday during a ground offensive into northern Iraq. The military said at least 20 more rebels were killed by artillery and helicopter gunships.
“Twenty-four terrorists were killed and many others were wounded,” the military said in a statement posted on its Website. “It is estimated that at least 20 more terrorists were rendered ineffective by artillery and helicopter gunships.”
Hideouts of the rebels of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, were shelled by artillery and armed helicopters, the military said.
It added that sporadic clashes continued inside Iraq between Turkish troops and Kurdish rebels.
Turkey launched a ground offensive in pursuit of PKK rebels who have been launching attacks on Turkish targets from their havens in northern Iraq.
The offensive, which started late on Thursday after aircraft and artillery blasted suspected rebel targets, marked a dramatic escalation in Turkey’s fight with the PKK even though Turkish officials described the operation as limited. (AP)
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