Some 500 Kurdish rebels have been killed over the past month by Turkish security forces, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday.
"In operations held during the past month, some 500 terrorists were rendered ineffective in the (southeast) region," Erdogan said in remarks televised by NTV news channel.
The prime minister said that 123 of the rebels were killed over the past 10 days in an ongoing military operation in southeastern city of Hakkari near the border with Iraq and the site of frequent clashes between the separatists and government forces.
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The recent toll comes after an army announcement earlier this month, which said that some 500 people had been killed in operations over six months between February and August.
The army statement had noted that Turkish military staged close to 1,000 operations over the last six months to drive out the rebels from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
The PKK, considered a terrorist group by Turkey and much of the international community, took up arms in the southeast in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed about 45,000 lives.