Turkish military says killed 11 Kurdish militants

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish soldiers have killed 11 Kurdish guerrillas in an operation in the southeastern Turkish province of Hakkari, Turkey’s military said on Wednesday.

The operation was launched on Sunday after security forces identified a group of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in a mountainous area near the Iraqi border, the military said on its web site.

The PKK, regarded as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union, took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984. About 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

PKK fighters regularly enter Turkey from the mountains of northern Iraq, where several thousand of the militants are based. This year the Turkish armed forces have launched a series of raids against the group in northern Iraq.

The military said its latest operation, backed by attack helicopters and other aircraft, was continuing.

Turkish military said a total of 33 PKK rebels had been killed in clashes in the last five days in various operations including in the neighboring Sirnak province.

The figures could not be verified, and the military did not give any figures on Turkish casualties.

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