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LOCAL >Turkish warplanes hit PKK militants in northern Iraq, seven ‘neutralized’

ŞANLIURFA/ANKARA

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Turkish warplanes on June 28 conducted an air operation targeting outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in northern Iraq, “neutralizing” seven of them, the army has stated.

The General Staff said in a statement that its warplanes conducted an air operation against PKK militants who had been preparing attacks on military bases along the border in the Avaşin-Basyan region in the morning hours.

According to initial reports, seven militants were “neutralized” in the operation, the military stated.

Authorities use the word “neutralized” to indicate that militants were killed, wounded or captured.

The military also said gun emplacements and sanctuaries belonging to the militants were destroyed in the operation.

Two PKK militants had also been “neutralized” during a separate air operation in the Metina region of northern Iraq on June 27.

In addition, warplanes also conducted an air operation on PKK militants in the Yüksekova district of the southeastern province of Hakkari near the Iraqi border on June 28, killing another seven militants.

A total of 11 PKK militants had been killed during security forces’ operations in the eastern provinces of Bingöl and Elazığ a day earlier.

Meanwhile, security forces foiled an apparent assassination attempt by PKK militants targeting a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmaker in the Suruç district of the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa.

In a joint operation conducted by police and gendarmerie forces, four PKK militants were apprehended along with a number of weapons and explosive material that had been prepared to be used in the assassination attempt on AKP Şanlıurfa deputy İbrahim Halil Yıldız.

Yıldız was heading to the district on the morning of the Eid al-Fitr holiday on June 24 when he managed to escape the assassination plot at the last minute after security forces’ intervened.

During a raid on a residence where the militants had stayed, police also seized one gun, one silencer, one Kalashnikov rifle, 420 grams of plastic explosive, one shotgun, 12-meter power cable, two rocket heads, two radios, 24 capsules, one multimeter, clips and bullets, eight batteries and electric transparent bands.

Separately, the Interior Ministry stated on June 28 that a total of 65 PKK militants had been “neutralized” during security forces’ operations across the country over the past week.

According to a ministry statement, 36 of the militants were killed, 16 surrendered to security forces and the other 13 were captured alive.

Another 42 weapons, 306 kilograms of explosives, 37 hand-grenades, two suicide vests and various amount of ammunition were also seized in the operations, it stated.

Some 17 hand-made explosives and 27 sanctuaries and caves used by militants in six provinces were also destroyed, it added.

Some 866 suspects were also detained during 835 operations conducted across the country over the past seven days for allegedly “aiding and abetting the organization,” according to the ministry.

In addition, one police officer was killed during an operation against PKK militants in a rural area near the Oğul village in the southeastern province of Hakkari, the governor’s office stated on June 28.   

The Hakkari Governor’s Office said the police officer, identified as Mahummet Ali Mevlüt Dündar, was initially wounded in the operation but later succumbed to his wounds at the Hakkari State Hospital on June 28.

Elsewhere, the bodies of three soldiers who were killed in a PKK attack in the Uludere district of the southeastern province of Şırnak on June 27 were transferred to their hometowns to be laid to rest following a ceremony in the province.

Non-commissioned officer Şenel Ağıl, Gendarmerie Corp. Sinan Hamza and Gendarmerie Private Muhammed Furkan Demirel were wounded on June 27 when PKK militants opened fire on military vehicle they were in while carrying food to the Elmalı base region. All three later succumbed to their injuries at hospital. 

Their bodies were sent for burial to Tokat, Samsun and Ankara respectively.

June/28/2017

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