Council of Europe slams PKK's 'terrorist attacks'
The Council of Europe and its parliamentary assembly on Wednesday condemned the "terrorist attacks" by a separatist Kurdish group that left at least 24 Turkish soldiers dead.
"We are outraged by the terrorist attacks in southeast Turkey," said a joint statement by PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) and the council's committee of ministers. "We condemn in the strongest terms the authors of these horrendous acts."
"Terrorists will never achieve their ends through violence and bloodshed. They do not defend ideas, they seek only to propagate hatred and barbarity. Their acts are a crime against us all," it said.
Council of Europe General Secretary Thorbjorn Jagland conveyed "deepest condolences to the families" of the victims.
"I also want to express our solidarity with the people of Turkey who have been suffering from terrorist violence for decades," he said.
The rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has bases in Iraq's Kurdish region, killed at least 24 Turkish soldiers overnight in simultaneous attacks in southeast Turkey, after which Ankara hit back with cross-border air strikes on PKK bases while Turkish troops crossed into neighbouring Iraq.
The attacks by PKK rebels struck eight locations in Cukurca and Yuksekova in Hakkari province near the Iraqi border, local security sources said, in one of the army's deadliest days in its 27-year battle against Kurdish separatists.
The PKK, listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey and much of the international community, took up arms in Kurdish-majority southeastern Turkey in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed about 45,000 lives.
© 2011 AFP