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Turkey: 115 Kurdish Rebels Killed in Offensive

Turkish troops patrol in Hakkari province, southeastern Turkey, June 19, 2010.
Turkish security forces said a large-scale military offensive has killed some 115 Kurdish rebels in the south of the country.

Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin said the rebels were killed as part of an air and ground offensive that began on July 23 near the town of Semdinli.

A local television station said up to 2,000 troops were involved in the operation.

His remarks came hours after officials said 22 people were killed in fighting overnight between Turkish soldiers and Kurdish rebels in Hakkari province, near the border with Iraq.

More than 40,000 people, mostly Kurds, have been killed since the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, took up arms in 1984 to demand a separate, Kurdish state.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.