Families mourn nine killed in northern Iraq strike

STORY: Kifah Ali's sister and young niece were among at least nine people killed in a strike on a mountain resort in the northern Iraqi province of Dohuk.

At least 26 people were injured in the attack on Wednesday (July 20).

Turkey has rejected claims by Iraqi officials and state media that it was responsible. Turkey regularly carries out air strikes in northern Iraq as part of a long-running campaign against Kurdish armed groups.

"We went, sat down, the children were playing in the water. Our families, our people. After half an hour, they struck us, then a minute later. We did not know where to go. Our family dispersed, the women were dispersed, the men were dispersed."

Abbas Alaa was on his honeymoon. His new wife was injured, he was killed. His cousin, Mohammed Kadhim, is in shock.

"He got married five days ago. He was there for his honeymoon. On the second day he was martyred, the strikes happened. Communication was through the head of the group, the tour guide. We got in touch and he said Abbas had died."

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday (July 21) Turkey would never target civilians, and that its military operations are always aimed the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK.

He blamed the PKK for the attack.

The PKK took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984. More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

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