Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Iran 'Shelling PKK in Iraq', Say Kurds

Gareth Smyth, The Financial Times:
Iraqi Kurdish officials yesterday reported Iranian artillery shelling of positions held by fighters of the Kurdistan Workers party (PKK) inside Iraq. This was a day after the Iraqi defence ministry said Iranian troops had recently attacked PKK positions inside Iraq, crossing 5km into Iraqi territory near Haj Umran. Iran denied the charge. READ MORE

The PKK is a primarily Turkish group, but an allied Iranian Kurdish group, Pejak, has clashed repeatedly with Iranian security forces over the past year. Both Turkey and Iran, with substantial Kurdish minorities, are concerned about the example of autonomy in Iraq.

Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, Iran's interior minister, said in remarks reported yesterday that northern Iraq was "the centre for terrorist attacks" and that Tehran and Ankara were committed to "intelligence co-operation and increasing border guards".