PKK mortars found amid more clashes

PKK mortars found amid more clashes

ŞIRNAK – Doğan News Agency
PKK mortars found amid more clashes Turkish gendarmerie units have discovered scores of mortar bombs buried underground in the Uludere district of the southeastern province of Şırnak for use by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in the province.  

A total of 187 pieces of mortar ammunition along with 400 propelling charges were found by teams from the Şırnak gendarmerie command’s intelligence bureau during an operation in the Çöplük area of the district’s Yekmal village. The teams carrying out the operation suspected the ammunition was sent from the PKK’s Haftanin camp in northern Iraq to be used by militants in the central Şırnak and Besta areas. 

This latest discovery added to the total of 5,079 explosive devices weighing 140 tons Turkish security forces have found in the southeastern provinces of Diyarbakir, Mardin, Şırnak and Hakkari during anti-terror operations, Anadolu Agency reported.  

A Turkish explosives expert at Istanbul’s Okan University, Prof. Ali Kahriman, told the agency that a 100-kilogram explosive could demolish a 10-story building.

“140 tons of explosives can harm a square kilometer accommodation zone,” Kahriman said, adding, “The explosives could demolish almost 1,500 five or ten-story buildings in an instant.”

Turkish security sources said PKK militants were using 100-meter-long cables to set off buried explosives from a distance. The explosives were planted on routes travelled by security forces.

Security sources also said PKK members planted the explosives on columns and pillars at properties to be searched.

Meanwhile, operations against the PKK, which began on March 14 in central Şırnak, have intensified in the Yeni and Bahçelievler neighborhoods, where the militants have been shooting from houses.

Security sources said 85 percent of the town has been cleared off explosive-trapped trenches and barricades set up by PKK militants. 

In the Yeşilyurt, Gazipaşa, İsmetpaşa, Cumhuriyet and Dicle neighborhoods of the city, on the other hand, operations have been completed but searches for bomb and other kinds of explosives have been ongoing.  

Since the beginning of the operations in the town, some 915 hand-made explosives have been destroyed and 331 PKK militants have been killed.