Car explosion injures two PKK members in northern Iraq, police say

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Two members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) were seriously injured on Tuesday in an explosion inside a car in the city of Sulaimaniya in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of northern Iraq, police and security sources said.

Police cordoned off the area and started an immediate investigation to determine the reason for the explosion, said two security sources.

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It was unclear whether the explosion was a result of a bomb attached to the car or a fuel tank blast, police sources said.

However, one security source said the explosion was caused by a bomb placed inside the car of the PKK members.

Iraq said on Monday it had arrested three people linked to the PKK and suspected of planning attacks across the country, including on a key oil export pipeline in the north.

The PKK, which has bases around northern Iraq, is designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union. The group launched an insurgency in southeast Turkey in 1984 in which more than 40,000 people have been killed.

Turkish forces regularly carry out strikes in neighboring Iraq as part of an offensive against PKK militants based there.

Iraq has stepped up pressure on the PKK since a visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Baghdad in April.

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