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Six Civilians killed in Turkish airstrike in northern Iraq

(Xinhua)

08:54, August 22, 2011

BAGHDAD, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Six civilians were killed on Sunday during an airstrike on an Iraqi border area, as Turkish warplanes continue attacks against Kurdish targets inside Iraq, official Kurdish website reported.

"The Turkish aircraft on Aug. 21 bombarded Kurtik area on the hill of Qandil mountain, killing six civilians," said the official website of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), a major Kurdish party headed by Iraq President Jalal Talabani.

Women and children were among the casualties, the website said.

Turkish airstrikes and artillery shelling are underway for the fifth consecutive day as part of military operation started on Wednesday night against the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) rebels holed up in northern Iraq.

The latest Turkish offensive followed a deadly attack claimed by the PKK in early Wednesday morning which killed seven Turkish soldiers and one security guard in Turkey's southeastern district of Hakkari.

The PKK has intensified its attacks on Turkish troops in recent times and Turkish officials have vowed to reciprocate with absolute determination.

Listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, the PKK took up arms in 1984 to create an ethnic homeland in southeastern Turkey. Some 40,000 people have been killed in conflicts involving the PKK in the past over two decades.

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