Girl killed in Iranian shelling over northern Iraq

(CNN) -- A 14-year-old Iraqi girl was killed Sunday and dozens of families fled their homes to escape Iranian artillery shells in northern Iraq, according to a Kurdish Regional Security Forces spokesman.

The artillery shells rained down on villages Sunday where Kurdish rebels were thought to be operating, said Jabbar Yawer.

The artillery targeted villages in the Balakiyaki border area, about 125 km (77 miles) northeast of Irbil province.

The barrage began late Saturday and continued until Sunday morning, Yawer said. A number of farms in the villages were heavily damaged, Yawer said.

The Kurdish rebels, known as the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan, or PEJAK, are believed to be based in the region. In the past week, Iranian artillery also fired on other villages, but no casualties were reported, Yawer said.

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