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Reports: Turkish Troops Kill 21 Kurdish Militants

Security officials say Turkish troops have killed 21 Kurdish militants, including a regional commander, in southeastern Turkey during a large-scale operation.

The unnamed officials said the military launched the operation last week, after identifying a group of around 30 fighters from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the mainly Kurdish southeast of the country.

The operation involved some 3,000 Turkish troops backed by attack helicopters and warplanes.

The PKK is fighting for Kurdish autonomy in the southeast of Turkey.

More than 40,000 people have been killed in the PKK insurgency since the group took up arms in 1984.

Several thousand PKK fighters are reportedly based in the mountains of northern Iraq.

The United States, the European Union, as well as Turkey, all regard the PKK as a terrorist organization.

compiled from agency reports