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Turkish jets target PKK positions in northern Iraq

In this file photo, Turkish F-16 fighter jets fly in formation during a parade in Istanbul, Turkey. (By Reuters)

Turkish bombers have carried out airstrikes in northern Iraq following a deadly car bomb explosion in Turkey’s capital, Ankara.

The attacks hit the Haftanin area in Dohuk Province of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, Turkey's General Staff said in a statement on Thursday.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said between 60 and 70 PKK militants were killed in the airstrikes, including some senior figures of the Kurdish militant group.  

A police officer gestures as he walks at the site of a car bomb explosion in Ankara, February 17, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)

At least 28 people lost their lives in the Wednesday bombing, during which a car laden with explosives detonated next to military buses as they waited at a traffic light. 

Another bombing targeted a military vehicle in southeast Turkey on Thursday, killing at least seven security forces.

In remarks on Thursday, Davutoglu said the man behind the Ankara bombing was a member of the Syrian Kurdish YPG group. He also accused the Syrian government of being directly responsible for the blast.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks during a news conference in Ankara, Feb. 18, 2016. (Photo by Anadolu)

The group denied carrying out the attack, with its chief saying Ankara was making the allegation in order to escalate the conflict in Syria.

Davutoglu said PKK militants collaborated with the Syrian man to carry out the deadly attack.

“The attack was carried out by the PKK together with a person who sneaked into Turkey from Syria,” he said, adding nine people had been arrested in connection with the bombing.

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