ANKARA, Turkey, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- NATO condemns "in the strongest possible terms" the recent spate of attacks on the Turkish south, the secretary-general of the alliance said.
At least 24 Turkish soldiers were killed and another 18 were injured Wednesday in attacks on military outposts and police stations along the Turkish border with Iraq. The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, known by the initials PKK, claimed responsibility for the assault.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said there is no justification for the attacks.
Turkish television reports that around 100 militants took part in the attacks, which came a day after five policemen and three civilians, including a 2-year-old girl, were killed in a roadside bomb attack attributed to the PKK.
"On behalf of NATO, I condemn in the strongest possible terms the recent attacks in southeastern Turkey, which killed and injured several Turkish soldiers, policemen and civilians, including a child," Rasmussen said.
Turkish forces, in response, stormed the mountains of northern Iraq in pursuit of PKK militants.
"As of now, wide reaching operations, including hot pursuit operations, are continuing in the region within the framework of international law," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quoted by al-Jazeera as saying.
The Turkish Parliament this month sanctioned cross-border raids against PKK hideouts in northern Iraq for 2012.