Over 40 militants ‘neutralized’ across Turkey last week: Interior Ministry
ŞIRNAK – Anadolu Agency
At least 43 outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants have been “neutralized” as part of counter-terror operations held across Turkey over the past week, the Interior Ministry stated on April 9.
The Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralized” in statements to imply that the militants in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
In a statement, the ministry said security forces had carried out 1,502 counter-terrorism operations between April 2 and 9.
The ministry specified that 25 of the militants were killed, eight were captured, and 10 surrendered to authorities.
Four senior members of the PKK, wanted by the Interior Ministry, were among the “neutralized” militants.
During the operations, 244 people were also detained for allegedly aiding and abetting the PKK and 28 others were detained over suspected links to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The security forces also “destroyed 61 shelters and 49 hand-made explosives” in operations in the eastern provinces of Şırnak, Bitlis, Diyarbakır, Hakkari, Muş, Mardin, Siirt, Tunceli, Van and Bingöl, according to the statement.
In addition, 1.5 tons of explosive materials, 43 hand-grenades, 47 weapons and over 18,000 rounds of munitions were seized.
According to the statement, 2,683 anti-drug raids were staged across the country, leading to 441 detentions.
A total of 13,502 people were also captured across Turkey as part of operations against irregular migration. The operations saw 167 suspects detained for abetting the illegal crossings, the statement added.
Last week, another 561 people were detained over alleged links to the movement of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, referred to by the authorities as the Fetullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), as well as nine others over links to leftist militant groups, the ministry announced.
Nine soldiers injured in Ağrı
Meanwhile, nine Turkish soldiers were wounded on April 8 after their military vehicle crashed in the eastern province of Ağrı.
A military vehicle carrying the gendarmerie special forces was overturned near the Kozluk Police Station on the border with Turkey and Iran.