Dozens of Iraqi gunmen stormed a Shiite village north of Baghdad on Saturday, killing at least 13 people and torching homes, police said. The attack on Dwelah, about 45 miles north of Baghdad in Diyala province, started about 6:30 a.m. with a bombardment of mortar rounds, then 50 to 60 suspected al-Qaeda fighters streamed in and opened fire, forcing families to flee, a police officer said.
The gunmen burned homes and killed at least 13 villagers, including three children and two women, the officer said,. The villagers fought back, police said, killing three gunmen.
Meanwhile, the Turkish military said Saturday it fired on 50 to 60 Kurdish fighters inside Iraqi territory, inflicting "significant losses." According to the AP, the military said on its Web site that the gunmen were detected following intelligence work and that military operations in the region would continue if necessary.
The military statement came a day after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the government had authorized the military to launch a cross-border offensive against Kurdish rebels based in northern Iraq at any time.