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Turkish strikes kill 2 PKK militants, 'neutralize' 3 others

By Nicholas Sakelaris
Turkish strikes kill 2 PKK militants, 'neutralize' 3 others
Relatives of Turkish diplomat Osman Kose weep on his casket on July 18 during his funeral ceremony in Ankara, Turkey, Officials say he was assassinated by PKK militants in Irbil, Iraq, in June. Photo by EPA-EFE

Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Turkish officials said Thursday an airstrike has killed two leaders of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which is considered by most Western governments a terrorist organization.

The Turkish defense ministry said the raid killed PKK leaders Haci Kurhan and Metin Akgun.

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Ankara officials also said a separate attack in the southern Hakkari province "neutralized" three other known PKK members, who they said were behind the assassination of Turkish diplomat Osman Kose in Irbil, Iraq, last month. The assault also killed two civilians. Irbil is the capital of the Kurdish Regional Government.

"Neutralized" is a term Ankara uses to denote a capture or killing.

Formed in 1978, the PKK is headquartered in the Qandil Mountains near the Iran-Iraq border but maintains a Turkey base. Since 1984, the group has been involved in constant fighting with Turkey in a crusade for an independent Kurdish state.

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