Turkey's interior minister says the military has ended a three-month operation against Kurdish militants in an historic neighborhood of Diyarbakir, the largest city in the country's mostly Kurdish southeast.

Efkan Ala said the military concluded its operations in the city's Sur neighborhood on Wednesday. A curfew imposed on the neighborhood was expected to remain until security officials finish searching for possible explosives.

Since August, authorities have been imposing 24-hour curfews in several flashpoint districts in the southeast to ease operations aimed at rooting out militants linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, who had raised barricades, dug trenches and planted explosives.

The military operations have raised concerns over possible human rights abuses, and rights groups say at least 224 civilians have been killed in areas placed under curfews.