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Obama denounces PKK attacks on Turkish security forces

(Xinhua)

09:17, October 20, 2011

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday denounced the "outrageous terrorist attack" on Turkish security forces, which left 24 dead and 18 others injured.

"The United States strongly condemns this morning's outrageous terrorist attack against Turkey, one of our closest and strongest allies," Obama said in a statement.

Offering his condolences to the families of the victims, the president pledged continued strong U.S. cooperation with the Turkish government in its efforts to defeat the "terrorist threat" from the PKK and bring peace, stability and prosperity to all the people of southeast Turkey.

"The people of Turkey, like people everywhere, deserve to live in peace, security and dignity," Obama said. "As they pursue the future they deserve, they will continue to have a friend and ally in the United States."

The PKK rebels attacked several military and police buildings early Wednesday in several locations in Hakkari, a predominately Kurdish province near the Iraqi border, a day after they killed five police officers and three civilians in southeastern Bitlis province.

Branded as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, the PKK took up arms in 1984 for an ethnic homeland in southeastern Turkey, resulting in more than 40, 000 deaths so far in conflicts.

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