Iraq protests Turkey's cross-border shelling

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry said Saturday it has summoned Turkey's top diplomat in Baghdad to protest cross-border shelling into northern Iraq. A statement said Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Haj Mahmoud called for an immediate halt to the shelling, saying such actions "undermine confidence between the two nations and negatively affect their friendship." The statement was the first government confirmation of the shelling. Mahmoud said the shelling had started large fires and caused serious damage, but gave no other details. Turkey has been building up its forces along the border with Iraq, and its leaders are debating whether to stage a major incursion to pursue separatist Kurdish rebels who cross over from bases in Iraq to attack Turkish targets.