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Kurdish anger at northern Iraq military blunder

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Kurdish anger at northern Iraq military blunder


Police in Turkey fired tear gas and water cannon at pro-Kurdish demonstrators after they took to the streets following an apparent military blunder.

Officials admitted that an air strike over northern Iraq, which was supposed to hit Kurdish rebels from the PKK, may have killed 35 civilian smugglers instead.

In Istanbul, clashes broke out as protesters hurled stones at the police. Many chanted anti-government slogans.

A spokesperson for Turkey’s ruling party said the air raid error was “saddening”:

“If there is a mistake or failure, you can be sure that whoever is responsible will be brought to justice,” said Huseyin Celik, a spokesperson from the ruling AK party.

“Authorities will launch investigations and everything will be done to clarify the situation,” he added.

TV images showed a line of corpses on a barren hillside with a crowd of people gathered round.

Officials said the military were acting on intelligence and said unmanned drones had spotted suspected Kurdish rebels in the area.

The PKK, which is regarded as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and the European Union, regularly launches attacks on Turkish forces in the south of the country from hideouts in northern Iraq.

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