Hundreds of Kurdish Militants Killed Since Dec.

Hundreds of Kurdish Militants Killed Since Dec.Hundreds of Kurdish Militants Killed Since Dec.

Turkish security forces on Sunday said a total of 448 members of the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party were killed since mid-December, the Turkish Army said in a statement on Sunday.

The statement comes amid one of the bloodiest weekends since the Kurdish insurgency erupted in 1984, AFP reported.

A human rights monitor says more than 70 civilians have been killed in curfew-hit towns. Turkey’s Dogan news agency reported that Turkish forces raided a home over the weekend in the eastern Van province after receiving intelligence that PKK militants were planning a large-scale attack on government sites.

At least 12 members of the militant group and one police officer were killed in the raid.

“The terrorists came to Van to stage a big attack. Fortunately, we managed to prevent it,” provincial governor, Ibrahim Tasyapan, told reporters, according to AFP.

The Turkish Army said another 20 militants were killed on Saturday following operations in the towns of Cizre and Silopi in the Sirnak province, and in the Sur district of the region’s largest city Diyarbakir, all of which are subject to a blanket curfew.

The Human Rights Foundation of Turkey said on Saturday that more than 70 civilians were killed in curfew-hit towns since December, when Turkey stepped up operations on Kurdish strongholds.

According to local media reports, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu held a closed-door meeting with members of his ruling Justice and Development Party and explained that operations and curfews in the region would end within a week.

However, he denied that he offered a deadline for security operations in a televised speech broadcast on Sunday.

The conflict has left more than 40,000 dead since 1984.