Police seize large cache of weapons, ammunition from PKK house in southeast Turkey
VAN – Doğan News Agency
Cihan PhotoPolice seized a large stash of ammunition and automatic weapons from a house in the southeastern province of Van where 12 outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants were killed on Jan. 10.
The Van Police Department staged the operation on Jan. 10 after receiving intelligence that a group of PKK militants had rented a house in the Edremit district of Van for a meeting ahead of a large planned attack.
Special police forces officer Önder Ertaş was killed in the raid on the two-story building, where seven A-47 guns with 32 magazines, two M-16 automatic rifles with 10 suitable magazines, a BKS gun, two pistols, 25 grenades and 1,903 cartridges were seized, along with $1,500 and 1,000 Turkish Liras in cash.
Van Governor İbrahim Taşyapan said the militants were planning a large-scale attack in the province.
The body of the killed policeman Ertaş was sent to Istanbul on Jan. 11 after an official ceremony in Van.
Meanwhile, police on Jan. 11 dispersed protesters staging a sit-in against the police raid on the house, detaining many. Members of the provincial center of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) gathered in front of its local headquarters to make a press statement, while a number of shopkeepers in the district also refused to open their shops.
HDP provincial organization members staged a sit-in before the statement, but police dispersed the crowd with pressurized water and detained eight protesters.
HDP Van deputy Lezgin Botan was also injured during the police raid and is reported to be in a good condition.
Separately, one soldier has succumbed to his wounds after clashes with the PKK that left two soldiers dead and another 10 wounded in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on Jan. 10. The identity of the special sergeant has not been disclosed.
Yıkıkkaya Street near the Kurşunlu Mosque in Diyarbakır’s historical Sur district witnessed clashes between security authorities and PKK militants at 2 p.m. on Jan. 10.
One police officer and a specialized sergeant were killed after militants detonated an improvised explosive device and opened fire, while another 10 security officials were hospitalized.
According to reports, one of the wounded officers succumbed to his wounds, raising the death toll to three, while nine officers are still receiving treatment.
The General Staff said in a written statement that 11 PKK militants were killed in operations in the Cizre district of Şırnak, three others were killed in Silopi, and three were killed in the Sur district of Diyarbakır.
Militants had also seized an ambulance in Mardin’s Nusaybin, forcing the personnel out. The ambulance was later found but the medical materials in it were missing.
Six neighborhoods of Sur have been under a military-imposed curfew since Dec. 2, 2015, as security forces conduct operations to expel PKK militants from urban regions.
HDP deputies took back bodies of two people, who were killed in the garden of the local forestry authority in Şırnak, eight days after the killing. The bodies had been left in the garden amid the ongoing clashes, but have now been taken to hospital and are waiting for identification.
The Turkish Human Rights Foundation (TİHV) said late on Jan. 9 that 32 children, 29 women and 24 elderly people were among the civilians killed in districts where the authorities have imposed 24-hour curfews.