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LOCAL > 35 killed in military operation: officials

ULUDERE, Şırnak

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At least 20 people were killed in a Turkish air raid near the Uludere township of Turkey’s Şırnak province which borders Iraq last night, with claims that they were not members of the armed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), but diesel smuggling peasants.

The air assault, which also utilized unmanned aerial vehicles, was conducted near the Ortasu village of Uludere, Şırnak, according to the Doğan News Agency. 

“The unmanned drones and thermal cameras detected a big group [of individuals] on the Iraqi side of the border, and jets took off. The bombardment started at 11 p.m. [Turkish time] and more than 20 people were killed,” the agency said.

Four bodies were brought to the Şırnak State Hospital, while peasants took many charred bodies to the Ortasu village atop tractors and mules. According to the villagers, the bodies were charred as their diesel drums exploded, while some were left under the rubble of a big rock under which they took shelter.
 “We have 30 corpses, all of them are burned. The state knew that these people were smuggling in the region," Reuters quoted Fehmi Yaman, the mayor of Uludere, as saying. 

The Governor of Şırnak confirmed that more than 20 people were killed, according to Doğan News Agency.

Meanwhile, the Daily News spoke to the local government in Uludere. According to the information provided, between 30 and 35 people were killed. 

The officials said the area where the incident took place was on the Iraq border and that the group was carrying goods on mules.

BDP co-leaders Gültan Kışanak and Selahattin Demirtaş were reported to be on their way to the area of the attack.

December/29/2011

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