Turk forces attacked rebels in N.Iraq-army sources

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ANKARA, Oct 24 (Reuters) Turkish warplanes and ground troops attacked Kurdish rebel positions just inside northern Iraq between Sunday and last evening, military sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

The warplanes flew as deep as 20 km into Iraqi territory and some 300 ground troops advanced about 10 km, killing 34 rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the sources said.

They made clear these were small sorties of a kind that Turkish forces have been known to conduct in the past across the mountainous border, not a large-scale offensive that US and Iraqi authorities are trying to avert.

''Further 'hot pursuit' raids into northern Iraq can be expected, though none have taken place so far today,'' a military official said, adding that all Turkish troops involved in the operations were now back in Turkey.

REUTERS SG RK1435

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