Turkish troops kill 22 Kurdish separatists in southeast Turkey

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ANKARA, July 15 (RIA Novosti) - Turkish troops have killed 22 Kurdish separatists since July 11 in the country's southeastern province of Sirnak, which borders Iraq, a Turkish military spokesman said on Tuesday.

The spokesman said a military operation, which finished Monday and involved ground troops and the Air Force, was launched in response to reports of planned militant attacks.

In February, the Turkish army launched a large-scale cross border operation in northern Iraq, killing, according to official data, 240 militants of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

The PKK, considered a terrorist organization by the EU, the U.S., and many other countries, has been fighting for an autonomous ethnic Kurd state in southeast Turkey for nearly 25 years. The conflict has so far claimed over 40,000 lives.

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