642 militants ‘neutralized’ in Turkey since 2017: Ministry
ANKARAA total of 642 militants have been neutralized in Turkey since 2017, the Turkish Interior Ministry said on May 22, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
In a report on counter-terrorism, the ministry said 4,786 operations were conducted since Jan. 1.
Some 642 militants were neutralized, with 316 of them captured dead and 133 of them surrendered, it said.
Authorities use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply the militants in question were either killed, wounded or captured.
Moreover, 657 shelters were destroyed as 2,000 heavy and long barreled weapons, 33 tons of explosive materials and 400,000 various types of ammunition were also seized by security forces, it stated.
Meanwhile, the Turkish General Staff said early on May 22 that 93 outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants have been killed over the past 11 days in operations in the eastern regions of the country.
The military said in a statement that the operations were conducted in the provinces of Şırnak, Hakkari, Diyarbakır, Erzurum, Ardahan, Bingöl, Muş and Hatay between May 11 and 21.
It said 71 hideouts belonging to the militants were also destroyed.
The army seized equipment including 313 infantry rifles, 12 anti-aircraft guns, four sniper rifles, five rocket launchers, 597 hand grenades and 2,300 kilograms of ammonium nitrate, as well as 30 kilograms of explosives, it said.
Seven Turkish soldiers were also killed and 27 others were injured in the operations, the statement read.
Separately, the military added that a total of 8,755 people were also detained for trying to cross the Turkish border illegally.
Moreover, one Turkish soldier was killed in a clash with PKK militants in the southern province of Osmaniye on May 22, Doğan News Agency has reported.
The specialist sergeant succumbed to his injuries in the Osmaniye State Hospital where he was taken to after the clash with PKK militants in the area of the Amanos Mountains. Gendarmerie forces started an operation to capture militants in the area.