DIYARBAKIR, Turkey - Turkish security forces killed 15 female Kurdish militants in an operation in the southeast province of Bitlis, close to the border with Iraq, the Interior Ministry said on Saturday.
While the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) does recruit women, an encounter with such a large group of female fighters is unusual.
Paramilitary troops backed by police and village militia were involved in Friday's operation in a densely forested area. One village guard was killed and three others wounded, the ministry said.
The latest casualties brought the number of Kurdish rebels killed in the past two days to 25 in operations in Bitlis, Cudi and Siirt, according to security officials. Six police officers were killed and 10 security officials were wounded.
More than 40,000 militants, soldiers and civilians have been killed in the fighting since the PKK took up arms in 1984.