Ankara (AFP) – Turkish forces crossed into Iraq to pursue Kurdish militants after dozens were killed in the deadliest attacks for years, as protesters assailed offices of the main pro-Kurdish party in a night of nationalist-tinged violence.
Thirteen Turkish police were killed on Tuesday in a new attack by Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants, as violence in the east threatened to spiral out of control.
That came two days after 16 Turkish soldiers died in a twin roadside bombings in Daglica in the southeastern Hakkari region, the army said, the deadliest strike on troops in the latest phase of the long-running insurgency.
Early on Tuesday, the Turkish air force pounded PKK targets in northern Iraq while special forces crossed the border in a rare land incursion, a Turkish government source told AFP.
“This is a short-term measure intended to prevent the terrorists’ escape,” the official said.
The state-run Anatolia agency said 150 Turkish troops had entered northern Iraq with the aim of “destroying” two dozen PKK militants who escaped from Turkey over the border after carrying out the Daglica attack.
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