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News, March 2008


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Editorial Note: The following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology. Comments are in parentheses.


Iranian artillery pounds northern Iraq targeting positions of Iranian Kurdish PJAK rebels

Sulaimaniya - Voices of Iraq
Thursday , 13 /03 /2008  Time 11:26:59
Sulaimaniya, Mar 13, (VOI)-

The Iranian artillery shelled villages in Qala'at Daza district in Sulaimaniya province, 364 km northeast of Baghdad, on Thursday morning, the district’s mayor said.

“The Iranian artillery shelled this morning Razka, Mara, Shenawa, Banki, Di Khonga, Wadi Shirwana and Wadi Tsewi in Sinkser and Zarawa border regions in Qalaat Daza district, northeast of Sulaimaniya,” Hassan Abdullah told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq (VOI).

“The shelling lasted for more than two hours without causing causalities,” he added.
The Iranian army pounded these regions on the pretext of the presence of PJAK fighters, Iranian Kurdish rebels, he explained.

Iran used to shell border areas in Qalaat Daza, 135 km northwest of Sulaimaniya; Haj Omran, 147 km northeast of Arbil; and Banjwin district, 96 km northeast of Sulaimaniya under the pretext of tracking down PJAK fighters.

Turkey, also, was shelling border areas in the northern Iraqi province of Duhuk under the pretext of fighting members of imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan's Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

PJAK (Partiya Jiyana Azada Kurdistanę in Kurdish or Kurdistan Free Life Party) is a Kurdish military opposition group founded in 2004, said to be linked to the PKK. PJAK, although a newly established organization, continuously launches militant operations against Iranian army forces, so that in 2005, in less than 6 months, it killed 120 Iranian police and wounded tens more.

PJAK is a splinter group of the PKK. It separated from it after PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan was imprisoned in Turkish jails. The nearly 3,000 PJAK fighters then started their armed struggle against the Iranian authorities, with the aim of "building federalism for Iran's Kurdistan."


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