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ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish warplanes hit Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets in northern Iraq on Monday and killed 17 of the group's militants, Turkey's armed forces said.

The PKK fighters were believed to be preparing an attack on Turkish border posts from the Hakurk region of northern Iraq, the army said in a written statement.

Three caves and one shelter used by the militants were destroyed in the air strikes, it said.

The PKK, which has been waging an insurgency in southeast Turkey since the 1980s, is designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

(Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz; Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Daren Butler and Gareth Jones)

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Reuters