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Turkey denied reports that it carried out attacks against civilians in Iraq’s northern Duhok province, where a strike killed eight people, including two children, and wounded 23 others at a tourist resort, Al Jazeera reported Thursday.
On Wednesday, at least four missiles struck an area in the Zakho district of the semi-autonomous Kurdish-run region of northern Iraq. Iraqi officials and state media blamed Turkey for the attack, which prompted protests in Baghdad.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi also declared Thursday a national day of mourning and ordered an investigation into the incident.
But Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu countered that Ankara was not responsible for the attack and blamed “terrorists.” He offered to cooperate with Iraq in investigating the matter.
The attack comes amid ongoing Turkish military operations in northern Iraq against the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, which Turkey labels a terrorist organization.
Cavusoglu said rumors accusing Turkey of the incident were an effort by the PKK to stymie Ankara’s counterterrorism activities.
In 1984, the PKK took up arms against the Turkish state. Since then, more than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which had mainly taken place in southeastern Turkey, where the PKK aimed to establish a homeland.