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Turkey Says 70 Kurdish Militants Killed In Offensive

Seventy suspected militants of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and two Turkish soldiers have been killed in a major operation against the group across southeast Turkey, the army said on December 19.

The operation began on December 16 and targeted the towns of Cizre and Silopi in Sirnak province as well as a neighborhood in Diyarbakir, the largest city in the region.

The Turkish military said that warplanes also bombarded PKK camps in northern Iraq on December 18, destroying shelters and weapons posts.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkey would not allow Kurdish militants to create "chaos."

"If they are struggling to secede from Turkey, we will never allow that," he added.

A two-year ceasefire between the PKK and Ankara fell apart in July, reviving a conflict in the mainly Kurdish southeast that has lasted three decades, killing more than 40,000 people.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and dpa