Report: Turkey knew lethal attack coming

Oct. 15, 2008 at 4:18 PM
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ANKARA, Turkey, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- A Turkish newspaper has published evidence it claims shows military officials knew Kurdish separatist rebels were preparing an attack that killed 17 soldiers.

The daily Taraf published leaked images taken by a Turkish spy drone that appeared to show rebels of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, massing in the Aktutun area near the Iraq border hours before a devastating Oct. 3 attack on a Turkish army outpost, the newspaper Today's Zaman reported Wednesday.

Taraf also published internal military memos warning of an imminent PKK attack on Aktutun, with one reportedly saying, "the PKK is engaged in extensive preparations to attack security forces outposts along the border ahead of a possible cross-border operation."

Gen. Ilker Basbug, Turkey's army chief of staff, blasted the leaks Wednesday, saying the military has filed legal action against the leakers, the newspaper Hurriyet reported.

"Those, who despite everything show this attack of the terror organization as a success story, share responsibility for the bloodshed. I want everybody to understand this very well," Basbug told reporters.

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