Four Turkish soldiers killed in northern Iraq: army

Kurdish security forces stand guard on the outskirts of Irbil, Iraq, Tuesday on October 17, 2017. (AP)
Updated 17 October 2017
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Four Turkish soldiers killed in northern Iraq: army

ANKARA: Four Turkish soldiers were killed in northern Iraq in two separate attacks blamed on Kurdish militants, the Turkish military said on Tuesday.
Five other soldiers were injured when two improvised explosive devices exploded on Monday in the Zap region of northern Iraq, not far from Turkey’s southeastern border.
The army blamed a “separatist terrorist organization” — Turkey’s official term for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) — for the blasts.
Clashes broke out immediately after the first of the attacks, the military said, as it reported it had killed 16 PKK members in air strikes in the past 24 hours.
It was not possible to independently verify the toll.
Since the PKK launched its insurgency in Turkey in 1984, over 40,000 people have been killed. The group is blacklisted as a terrorist organization by Ankara, the United States and the European Union.
After the collapse of a two-year cease-fire in 2015, Turkish military operations against the PKK intensified in southeastern Turkey.
Turkey regularly conducts air raids against PKK militants who have rear bases in the Qandil mountain area of Iraq, while Turkish ground troops sometimes stage incursions into the area.
The incident comes at a time of high tensions in Iraq following the controversial non-binding independence vote held by Iraqi Kurdistan last month, which was bitterly opposed by Turkey and Baghdad.
The blasts took place outside areas held by the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government.


Israeli air strike kills Hamas man in Gaza

Updated 19 July 2018
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Israeli air strike kills Hamas man in Gaza

GAZA: An Israeli air strike in the Gaza Strip killed a member of the militant Hamas group on Thursday and wounded three others, Hamas sources and medical officials said.
The Israeli military confirmed it had carried out an air strike targeting Hamas militants who were about to launch balloons rigged with flammable material over the border into Israel.
Hamas sources said the casualties were security men working at an observation post near Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip.
Fires caused by incendiary helium balloons and kites launched by Palestinians in Gaza have ravaged tracts of farmland in Israel in recent months. Israel has vowed to stop the attacks, even at the risk of wider conflict.
Weekly clashes at the Israel-Gaza border have kept tensions at a high for months. More than 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces during protests at the frontier held every week since March.
Israel says Hamas has been orchestrating the demonstrations, dubbed The Great March of Return, to provide cover for militants' cross-border attacks. Hamas denies this.
Cross-border violence surged on Saturday when Palestinian militants fired more than 100 rockets into Israel and the Israeli military carried out dozens of air strikes in the Hamas-ruled enclave.