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Turkey bombs Kurdish rebel positions in Iraq

Turkish F16s hit Kurdish targets in northern Iraq on Tuesday [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 20 July, 2016

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The first Turkish bombs fell on Iraqi soil since Friday's failed coup attempt against President Erdogan, as the resumption in fighting between Kurdish rebels and Ankara enters its second year.

Turkish war planes have pounded Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, for the first time since Friday's failed military coup in Ankara and Istanbul.

State media said that 20 fighters from the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) were killed in the attack.

Turkish F-16s hit PKK positions in the Hakurk region of northern Iraq, Anadolu agency reported.

The air raids come as Turkey undergoes a major domestic upheaval with mass purges in civil service, military, media, schools, and universities following Friday's attempted coup.

The military has come under particular focus after factions of the army attempted to topple President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government.

Senior military figures have been suspended or arrested, suspected of being part of a secret anti-government cell acting on behalf of exiled religious leader Fethullah Gulen.

It is now one year since fighting resumed between Turkish security forces and Kurdish rebels, after a two-and-a-half year hiatus.

PKK fighters have targeted the Turkish military in the southeast of the country, while the air force and army have hit Kurdish rebel positions in Turkey and Iraq.

A radical off-shoot of the PKK has also launched bomb attacks in Ankara and Istanbul over the past year.

Agencies contributed to this story.

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