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Kurdish Workers Party renews attacks in Turkey

SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Tuesday, July 15, 2003

ANKARA Kurdish insurgents have renewed attacks in Turkey.

Turkish officials said Kurdish insurgents based in Iraq and Iran have been infiltrating Turkey and attacking civilian and military targets. They said the focus of the attacks have been the province of Bingol in Southeast Anatolia.

Ankara has quietly blamed the United States for the resurgence of the PKK attacks. Turkish officials said the U.S. military in northern Iraq has been meeting and coordinating with PKK insurgents as part of an effort to undermine neighboring Iran.

Last week, insurgents believed connected to the Kurdish Workers Party, or PKK, raided the village of Yenikoy in Bingol, located 900 kilometers southeast of Ankara, Middle East Newsline reported. Officials said the PKK insurgents killed four villagers.

Bingol governor Huseyin Cos said the PKK members abducted five villagers on Thursday. Four of them were later killed and a fifth was severely injured.

It was the second major PKK attack in three days. On Tuesday, PKK gunmen opened fire on a convoy that contained the governor of the province of Tunceli, Ali Akyuz. Two soldiers were killed in the ambush.

Turkey and the PKK fought a 15 year war that ended in 1999 after the capture of the movement's leader Abdullah Ocalan. Over the last few months, however, the PKK has undergone a resurgence as an estimated 5,000 fighters have obtained training and weapons in northern Iraq.

On Tuesday, Turkey announced that it and the United States have resolved a crisis sparked by the U.S. military's capture of 24 Turkish military personnel on July 4. Both countries issued a statement that pledged to increase military cooperation and coordination in northern Iraq.

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