Turkey Says Airstrikes Targeted Suspected Militants
AFP: Locals gather in front of the bodies of people who were killed in a warplane attack in the Ortasu village of Uludere, in the Sirnak province, December 29, 2011.-

Turkey's military says it carried out airstrikes against suspected Kurdish rebels near the Iraq border but did not confirm reports from local officials that at least 23 civilians were killed in the attack.

Officials in Sirnak province said the victims were likely smuggling items into Turkey from northern Iraq and may have been mistaken for Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels.

A Turkish military statement said a group of PKK rebels was identified in the area.

The Kurdistan Workers Party has waged a nearly 20-year fight for more Kurdish autonomy in Turkey. The fighting has killed tens of thousands.

Turkey, the European Union and the United States regard the PKK as a terrorist group.

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