Iranian troops cross into Iraq's northern border

12:25, June 06, 2010      

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The Iranian troops crossed into the Iraqi Kurdish region two days after another incursion in the mountainous semiautonomous region, a Kurdish security source and Kurdish official website said on Saturday.

"Iranian forces late on Thursday entered about two km inside an Iraqi territory near the bordering area of Haj Omran in Arbil province," a border guards source said on condition of anonymity.

The Iranian troops were armed with heavy weapons, military vehicles and bulldozers, the source said.

The Iraqi Kurdish forces were observing the Iranian movements and noticed the Iranian troops have built new military positions on the Mount Kudo inside the Iraqi Kurdish territory, according to the official website of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, headed by Iraq President Jalal Talabani.

On Tuesday, the Arabiyah Pan Arab news television reported that the Iranian troops entered 5 km inside the Iraqi territories without giving further details about the incursion.

However, the Kurdish authorities frequently complained that the Iranian troops shelled the Kurdish villages in the mountainous area in northern Iraq with their artillery and that about 220 Kurdish families have already fled the area.

Iran says it is targeting militants from the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK), an Iranian anti-government Kurdish group which allegedly is sheltering in the Iraqi Kurdish region.

The PJAK is a militant Kurdish nationalist group, which has been accused by Iran of carrying out numerous attacks against the Iranian troops in western Iran. Iran as well as Turkey sporadically attack inside the Iraqi Qandil mountains as they believe that PJAK has close ties to the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) and both are sheltering in bases in the mountainous region of northern Iraq.

On June 1, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry summoned the Iranian ambassador and Turkish charge d'affair to express its "deep concern" and called the attacks "dangerous," according to a statement from the ministry.



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