PKK kills 24 Turkish troops, Ankara hits back

DIYARBAKIR, (Reuters) – Turkey launched air  and ground assaults on Kurdish militants in Iraq yesterday,  vowing to take “great revenge” after 24 Turkish soldiers were  killed in one of the deadliest Kurdish attacks in decades.

Turkish officials said about 100 fighters from the PKK, or  Kurdistan Workers Party, mounted simultaneous attacks under  cover of darkness on seven remote army outposts in Hakkari  province, on Turkey’s rugged southeastern border with Iraq.

The PKK, which is fighting for greater Kurdish rights from  bases in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region, confirmed it  carried out the attacks, in which it said five guerrillas died.

The fighting, in which Turkey said it killed 15 militants,  threatened wider instability at a time of upheaval in nearby  Syria and the imminent withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.

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