Kurdish Rebels Kill Eight In Northern Iraq
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) _ Kurdish rebels from Turkey opened fire on a taxi and killed eight Kurds _ four children, three men and a woman _ in northern Iraq, authorities said Friday.
The rocket attack occurred Thursday evening near the town of Zakho, said Necip Calin, an Iraqi Kurdish security chief.
There appeared to be no direct connection to Turkey’s incursion into northern Iraq, which is intended to eradicate bases used by rebels fighting for autonomy in southeastern Turkey.
The area is controlled by Iraqi Kurds and has been beyond the reach of the Iraqi military since the Gulf War.
Calin, a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, said the attack was organized by a Turkish Kurdish rebel collaborating with the rival Iraqi Kurdish group Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.
The two groups have been fighting for power for the past year.
Some 35,000 Turkish troops moved inside northern Iraq on March 20, and Ankara has come under pressure from its Western allies to withdraw. Turkish officials say a withdrawal could begin in a few weeks.
Also Friday, Turkish troops intensified operations inside Turkey to crack down on Kurdish rebels, killing nine guerrillas in three separate clashes in southeastern areas. Kurdish rebels have fought for autonomy in the region since 1984.