Turkey says it killed 32 Kurdish militants in northern Iraq

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's military has "neutralised" 32 members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) across various regions of northern Iraq, the Defence Ministry said on Friday.

The ministry's use of the term "neutralised" commonly means killed. The PKK, which has been waging an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984, is designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

The ministry said the militants were found in the Haftanin, Gara and Hakurk regions of northern Iraq, as well as in a region where Turkey frequently mounts cross-border raids under its "Claw-Lock Operation".

Turkey's cross-border attacks into northern Iraq have been a source of tension with its southeastern neighbour for years. Ankara has asked Iraq for more cooperation in combating the PKK, and Baghdad labelled the group a "banned organisation" in March.

Last month Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan held talks with officials in Baghdad and Erbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, about the continued presence of the PKK in northern Iraq, where it is based, and other issues. Erdogan later said he believed Iraq saw the need to eliminate the PKK as well.

(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Daren Butler and Gareth Jones)