5 senior PKK figures caught: Turkish Interior Ministry

5 senior PKK figures caught: Turkish Interior Ministry

5 senior PKK figures caught: Turkish Interior Ministry

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Five senior figures of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have been apprehended as part of efforts targeting the activities of the PKK and the outlawed Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), the Interior Ministry said on Dec. 30, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported. 

The PKK figures - identified only by the initials as H.A., S.A., M.Ö., B.A., and E.A. - were detained in operations carried out across Turkey. H.A., S.A. and M.Ö. were detained in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, B.A. was apprehended in the southern province of Antalya, and E.A. was caught in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa. 

H.A. was reportedly among the senior figures of the KCK and worked in a senior position at the Hawar News Agency (ANHA) in Syria’s Qamishli. 

S.A. reportedly went to meet senior KCK figures at the PKK’s headquarters in Kandil in northern Iraq in April, flew to Arbil from Diyarbakır on Nov. 13, and entered Turkey on Nov. 18 from the Habur border gate.  

E.A. is allegedly the Diyarbakır “representative” of the KCK who also went to Kandil to meet members of the outlawed group. 

B.A. and M.A. were determined to have been to Arbil in January. 

According to the Interior Ministry, all five figures were previously charged with “forming and managing an armed terrorist organization” and “being members of an armed terrorist organization.”

Meanwhile, one PKK militant who was allegedly plotting a terror attack in the southern province of Mersin, and three others who are accused of helping him, were arrested on Dec. 30.

Carrying out an operation at a house in the Toroslar district of Mersin, police teams captured the 20-year-old militant, identified only as Şiyar F. While the militant is suspected of having come to Mersin to carry out a bomb attack, five others were also captured on suspicion of helping the man.  

He was also identified as one of the militants involved in a rocket launcher attack targeting security forces in the southeastern province of Siirt, as his fingerprint matched with those recorded related to that attack. 

In a separate announcement on Dec. 29, the Turkish military said that sixteen militants from the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) have been “neutralized” in anti-terror operations in the eastern province of Tunceli since April 2016.

The Turkish Armed Forces announced that the latest two members of the DHKP-C were “neutralized” in Tunceli during an operation in the Aşağısavaliler neighborhood of the province’s rural Cat valley.        

The authorities often use the term “neutralized” in their statements to imply that the militants in question was either killed or captured.         

The announcement released on Dec. 29 also said over 100 members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Turkish Workers’ and Peasants’ Liberation Army (TIKKO), and the DHKP-C had been killed in the last four months.        

A large amount of ammunition and living supplies were confiscated during operations, according to the army.