Tons of munitions seized by Turkish security forces during operations in southeast
AA PhotoTurkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala has announced that security forces have so far seized thousands of weapons and tons of explosives after two days of operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in southeastern Turkey, adding that legal action has been taken against a number of municipal authorities in the region.
In an interview with the state-run Anadolu Agency on Dec. 17, Ala said security forces seized 2,240 weapons, 862 of which were heavy and long-barreled weapons, almost 10 tons of explosives and some 10,000 Molotov cocktails during operations against the PKK in southeastern Turkey.
The government has imposed curfews in the predominantly Kurdish-populated towns of Cizre and Silopi in southeastern Şırnak province to allow security forces to battle the militants, who have moved their fight for Kurdish autonomy to some towns and city neighborhoods.
The minister also revealed that legal action was taken against dozens of municipal authorities over of the use of municipality-owned construction equipment in digging ditches in the region. The ditches are said to be dug by the youth branch or sympathizers of the PKK in order to keep security forces out of residential areas.
“[Legal] action has been taken about 18 mayors and 41 members of municipal councils. Both a judicial and an administrative investigation have been launched. Some of them have been arrested, while these [59 authorities] have been suspended,” Ala said.
Anadolu Agency said on Dec. 17 that 22 PKK militants were killed in Cizre and one was killed in Silopi in the past two days.
Thousands of police and soldiers were deployed to the two towns, near Turkey’s border with Iraq. Hundreds of people have died since July in renewed fighting between the PKK and Turkish troops.