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US sanctions Kurdish separatists

world Updated: Oct 15, 2009 07:48 IST

IANS
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The United States placed sanctions on Wednesday on the leader of Kurdish separatists operating in northern Iraq, accusing Murat Karayilan of trafficking in narcotics.

The US Treasury Department sanctions against Karayilan and two other senior leaders, Ali Riza Altun and Zubayir Aydar, freeze any assets they might have in the US and ban US citizens from engaging in any business with the three men.

Karayilan heads the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which seeks an autonomous state on Turkish territory. The PKK has been operating in northern Iraq and has carried out hundreds of attacks inside Turkey.

The US government regards the PKK as a terrorist organisation. The US says the PKK has been involved in drug trafficking for decades.