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Turkey buries first dead in PKK battle

Feb. 24, 2008 at 10:01 AM   |   Comments

ANKARA, Turkey, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Mourners gathered in Ankara Sunday for the first Turkish troops killed in an incursion into northern Iraq targeting Kurdish separatists.

Turkey launched an invasion into northern Iraq Friday targeting members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, known by their Kurdish acronym, PKK. Turkey says rebels loyal to the PKK killed at least 30,000 in southeast Turkey since 1984.

The United States and European Union list the PKK as a terrorist group, though both parties have urged Turkey to exercise restraint in the latest incursion.

Turkey said seven of its troops were killed in action, but PKK sources claim that is a very conservative estimate, Euronews.net reported Sunday.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan called the incursion limited in scale, saying "Our armed forces will come back in the shortest time possible as soon as they achieve their objectives" against the PKK.

"The target, purpose, size and parameters of this operation are limited," Erdogan said on Turkish television. "Our armed forces will come back in the shortest time possible as soon as they achieve their objectives" against the PKK.

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