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U.S. labels Kurdish group as terrorist

  • Story Highlights
  • U.S. puts Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, or TAK, on list of terrorist groups
  • TAK is affiliated with Kurdish separatist group PKK
  • PKK has been attacking Turkey from inside Iraq
  • Move against TAK comes after Turkish president meets with President Bush
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States has designated a Kurdish militant group in Turkey as a terrorist organization, the State Department said.

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Turkish President Abdullah Gul, left, speaks to reporters with President Bush earlier this week in Washington.

The group, the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, known as TAK, is affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK -- the separatist Kurdish group that has been attacking Turkey from inside northern Iraq.

Turkey has responded to the attacks by bombing PKK targets in the predominantly Kurdish area of northern Iraq. The United States, the European Union and Turkey regard the group as a terrorist organization.

The United States says TAK is "responsible for multiple terrorist attacks in Turkey, which targeted tourist locations, military sites, and government buildings, resulting in several deaths."

The classification of the group as a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" subjects the organization and its supporters to financial sanctions.

"With this designation, the United States reaffirms its commitment to fight terrorism in cooperation with its NATO ally, Turkey. The United States will continue to work with Turkey, Iraq, and the rest of Europe against the PKK and its support networks and affiliates, such as the TAK. There must be no safe havens for such terrorists," according to a statement from Tom Casey, deputy spokesman of the State Department.

The move came after President Bush met Tuesday in Washington with Turkish President Abdullah Gul. The men discussed what Bush called their "common enemy ... the PKK."

The PKK has spent two decades fighting for autonomy for Kurds in southeastern Turkey. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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