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Turkish army says soldier killed in northern Iraq

The incident occurred just days after Iraqi Kurdistan voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence. [Getty]

Date of publication: 30 September, 2017

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A Turkish soldier was killed and three others wounded on Friday in an attack by Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, Turkey's army said.

A Turkish soldier was killed and three others wounded on Friday in an attack by Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, Turkey's army said.

The incident occurred just days after Iraqi Kurdistan voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence in a referendum heavily criticised by neighbouring countries.

Turkey's army said the "separatist terrorist organisation" – a term it uses for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) – was to blame, although the statement did not specify where it happened or whether it occurred in the area of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Turkey has maintained a military presence around Bashiqa outside of Mosul, much to the annoyance of Baghdad.

The army launched a military drill featuring tanks close to the Iraqi border last week. It has also built up forces on the Syria border, with Turkish troops likely to enter Idlib province.

Turkish forces have no ground presence in the KRG but regularly conduct air raids against PKK militants who have bases in the Qandil mountain area.

Earlier, Turkey said it struck the Avasin-Basyan and Qandil regions, destroying weapon stores and killing three in PKK camps who were preparing attacks.

The PKK has waged an insurgency inside Turkey since 1984 and is blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by Ankara, Washington and Brussels. 

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