ANKARA, Turkey, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Turkish forces have killed at least 49 Kurdish rebels along the Iraq border after a raid in which militants killed 24 Turkish soldiers, the military said.
The two days of the military's attacks took place in the Kazan Valley region of Hakkari province in southeast Turkey and across the border in Iraq, reports said.
More than 30 of the rebels were killed Saturday, the Hurriyet newspaper reported, the BBC said.
The rebels did not immediately confirm the deaths.
Turkey said about 10,000 soldiers were involved in the offensive against the rebels.
An attack by the Kurdish Worker's Party, known by the initials PKK, on Wednesday near the Iraq border was among the group's deadliest in nearly two decades, the Hurriyet Daily News reported. Eighteen Turkish soldiers were also injured.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for unity against terrorism among political parties, non-governmental organizations and the public, the Daily News reported.
"This is not the day to shout slogans, it's not a day for hostility," Erdogan said in a speech. "We are such a nation that can keep its calmness and find common sense even at very difficult times."
The fighting came as Turkey is drafting a new constitution that would provide greater rights for ethnic minorities.
Violence between the PKK rebels and the Turkish army has been on the rise in recent months. The rebels seek more autonomy in Turkey's Kurdish-dominated southeast.
Since 1984, tens of thousands of people have died in the conflict.
The United States, the European Union and Turkey list the PKK as a terrorist organization.