Turkish military strikes have killed 49 Kurdish rebels in two days during a major offensive in the country's mainly Kurdish south, the army announced on Saturday.
"A total of 49 terrorists were rendered ineffective over the last two days," said the General Staff in a statement posted on its website, adding that the operation was continuing.
Kurdish rebels on Wednesday killed 24 soldiers and wounded 18 along the Iraqi border, the army's biggest losses since 1993.
The simultaneous attacks prompted the Turkish military to launch air and land operations against bases of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
Around 10,000 troops on the ground were involved in Turkey's operations, backed by jets and helicopters.
The army statement said "operations continue in a few areas across the border (northern Iraq) and two seperate areas inside the country" in an attempt to prevent PKK actions targeting Turkish units.
The PKK listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey and much of the international community took up arms for Kurdish independence in southeastern Turkey in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.
by Ammar Karim
(c) 2011 AFP
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