PKK operation ends after 16 days in Turkey’s southeast

PKK operation ends after 16 days in Turkey’s southeast

PKK operation ends after 16 days in Turkey’s southeast

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A major operation launched against outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants was finalized after 16 days in Turkey’s southeastern provinces on March 21, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported. 

At least 7,000 members of the security forces attended the operations in the Diyarbakır province’s Hani, Lice and Kulp districts.

Some 28 PKK militants were neutralized, while a number of weapons and equipment were seized or destroyed during the operations, which began at 5:00 a.m. on March 5, according to the Diyarbakır Governor’s Office.

Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralize” in their statements to imply the militants in question were either killed, captured or incapacitated. 

Some 16 commandoes, 742 special operations forces officers and 558 village guards took part in the operation.

The operation aimed to neutralize PKK figures and militants, to prevent illegal drug trafficking, and to catch people in connection with the group. 

Meanwhile, the security forces found a 9K38 Igla, a Soviet-made missile, in a shelter used by the outlawed group in Diyarbakır among other weapons.

Security forces also seized five m-16 rifles, two machine guns, 15 Kalashnikovs, one Jager rifle, seven pistols, 23 unlicensed shotguns and 23 hand grenades.

Some 12 suspects were also arrested in a raid as a part of the 16-day operation on addresses in 24 villages and 763 houses. A Chief Prosecutor’s Office referred 32 suspects to court, of whom 12 were later arrested and six were detained. Some 119 people, who were detected as draft resisters, were released after being detained. Some 9,079 suspicious vehicles were also searched in 28 different checkpoints on the road by security forces.

Nine vehicles suspected of being used in bomb attacks were also apprehended. 

Security forces also destroyed 68 shelters and 18 emplacements, while 23 explosives were also destroyed in the operation. 

At least 675 kilograms of ammonium nitrates and aluminum, used in bomb-making processes, were also seized by the security forces.

Security forces also seized 9 tons and 458 kilograms of drugs in anti-drug raids as a part of the operation.  

“Drugs were taken under control upon the Chief Prosecutor Office’s order. Operations, conducted against terrorism were proceeding with tenacity and persistence to provide peace and security to all citizens who are living in the region, despite bad weather conditions,” the statement said.