Turkey's Military: Warplanes, Artillery Strike Kurdish Rebels in Iraq

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Turkish warplanes and artillery units have hit Kurdish rebel positions in northern Iraq, following a rebel raid on a military outpost in Turkey, the military said Sunday.

Targets in Saturday's raids included an area just across the border where rebels had allegedly gathered after attacking the military station in Hakkari province, near the Iraq border, the military said in a statement posted on its Web site.

Six soldiers and 19 rebels were killed in that attack and military airstrikes that followed, the military said. The rebels denied suffering any losses.

In its statement, the military said artillery units and attack aircraft "intensely and effectively" struck rebel targets in the Avasin-Basyan area in northern Iraq on Saturday.

"All targets have been hit with accuracy and terrorists in the targeted facilities have been rendered ineffective," the military statement said. "Studies and evaluations are under way to determine final results."

It stressed that maximum sensitivity was observed in the strikes to avoid affecting civilians or local Iraqi Kurdish forces.

"The Turkish Armed Forces will continue its struggle against terrorism with increasing power and determination," the military said. "Any heinous act against the Turkish Republic will be responded to immediately and heavily."

In a separate statement released a few hours later, the military said a rebel "media and propaganda" center was also struck in the raids. It gave no other details.

There was no immediate rebel response to the claims.

The Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, has been fighting for self-rule in Turkey's southeast since 1984. Tens of thousands of people have died since then.

The PKK maintains bases in the north of neighboring Iraq that serve as a launch pad for attacks on targets inside Turkey.

Turkey has launched several aerial attacks and one major ground operation against rebel bases across the border with Iraq this year.