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Deadly attacks stoke KDP-PKK tensions in Iraqi Kurdistan

Turkish Kurdish militants entrenched in Iraqi Kurdistan face mounting calls to leave the region after the killing of six members of the Iraqi Kurdish armed forces.
A Kurdish female peshmerga fighter carries her weapon while walking in the foothills of the Qandil Mountains located along the Iraq-Iran border, May 5, 2006.
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DIYARBAKIR, Turkey — Tensions are flaring between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the main political group ruling Iraqi Kurdistan, and armed Kurdish militants from Turkey who are based in the region, rekindling fears of renewed intra-Kurdish fighting amid growing Turkish military pressure on the militants.

Lying at the core of the tensions are escalating Turkish cross-border operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has long used mountainous bases in Iraqi Kurdistan in its armed campaign against Ankara since 1984. On June 5, a unit of Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces attempted to move into an area in the Metina mountain range near the town of Amedi in Dahuk province. Five peshmergas were killed and seven others injured in what Iraqi Kurdistan authorities described as a PKK ambush. The group denied responsibility, claiming its militants had only fired warning shots in the air and a mine explosion or an airstrike might have caused the deaths. A sixth peshmerga was killed near Zakho in the same province three days later, with local officials blaming the attack on PKK snipers.

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