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Turkey's air force attacked suspected Kurdish rebel targets across the border in Iraq, the military said Thursday, but Kurdish officials claimed many of the roughly 35 people killed were teenaged smugglers mistaken for guerrillas.
The Turkish military confirmed the Wednesday night raids, saying its jets struck an area of northern Iraq frequently used by the rebels to enter Turkey after drones detected a group approaching the often unmarked mountainous border. It said an inquiry has been launched, but did not say whether there were casualties.
The governor's office for the province of Sirnak _ which borders Iraq _ said 35 people were killed and one other person was injured in the aerial operation.
"Those who were killed yesterday had no links to PKK. They were only smugglers who were on their way back to Turkey from Iraq," Deniz said, referring to the Kurdish rebel group, the Kurdistan Workers' Party.
Nobody is innocent, not one damned person on this planet.