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In Heror, PKK official Furat Jakrkhouni said a larger group is expected to enter Iraq in a week’s time.

“More PKK fighters will be arriving if things go smoothly,” he said. “The withdrawal process will continue if there is no obstacles put by the Turkish government.”

PKK, considered a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies, is believed to have between 1,500 and 2,000 fighters inside Turkey, along with several thousand more based in northern Iraq, which they use as a springboard for attacks on Turkish territory.

Relations between Iraq and Turkey have been strained since December, when fugitive Iraqi Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi took refuge in Turkey following accusations by the Shiite-led government in Baghdad that he was running death squads.

Turkish officials rejected Baghdad’s request to hand over al-Hashemi, who was tried and convicted in absentia.

• Associated Press writer Mohammed Jambaz contributed to this article.