Three Turkish soldiers killed in clash with PKK in Iraq

Ankara: Three Turkish soldiers were killed and seven were wounded in a clash with Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, the Turkish defence ministry said Sunday.

The statement came after Turkey on Friday launched the third phase of an operation begun in May to root out fighters of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) in the region.

It did not specify the location of the clashes.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organisation by Ankara, the European Union and the United States, has rear bases in northern Iraq.

Turkey began conducting a ground offensive and bombing campaign against the PKK in the region in May.

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The conflict has claimed more than 40,000 lives since the PKK took up arms in 1984.

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