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Turkey strikes Kurdish rebels in Iraq after Ankara suicide attack

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Turkey’s defense ministry said it carried out air strikes on 20 suspected Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq on Sunday, hours after a suicide bomber attacked a government building in Ankara.

The ministry said the raids hit caves, shelters and depots belonging to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which claimed responsibility for the blast that wounded two police officers near the interior ministry.

A second assailant was killed in a shootout with police, who found plastic explosives, hand grenades and a rocket launcher at the scene.

The attack came as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed parliament for the first time after its summer recess, vowing to continue the fight against terrorism and to create a safe zone along Turkey’s border with Syria.

Turkey has been conducting cross-border operations against the PKK in northern Iraq for decades, as well as against Islamic State militants and a Kurdish militia group in northern Syria since 2016.

The PKK is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU. It has been waging an armed campaign for Kurdish autonomy since 1984, which has killed tens of thousands of people.

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