Two soldiers killed in PKK attack in Turkey’s east
ANKARA / ISTANBUL
AA PhotoTwo soldiers have been killed in clashes with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in the eastern province of Tunceli.
Clashes erupted in the Aliboğazı region, resulting in injuries to two soldiers. The wounded soldiers were taken to the neighboring province of Elazığ for treatment, where both succumbed to their injuries.
An aerial operation launched to “neutralize” the militants responsible was launched in the region.
Some 49 PKK militants were “neutralized” in a week, according to a statement released by the Interior Ministry.
“Neutralized” is a euphemism used by the government to denote a killed or incapacitated militant.
A large amount of ammunition was seized in the operations conducted between Nov. 21 and 28, the statement also said.
The operations were carried out by the gendarmerie special command, gendarmerie commando teams, police special forces, as well as the aerial and ground elements of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). A total of 294 operations were conducted against the PKK and 25 militants were “neutralized” in ground operations.
According to the statement, 11 of the militants were captured alive and 14 of them were dead.
Meanwhile, 24 PKK militants were “neutralized” in aerial operations conducted with drones and warplanes, bringing the total number of “neutralized” militants to 49.
The statement also revealed the number of shelters destroyed. According to the ministry, 127 shelters and 40 home-made explosives were destroyed, and a bomb-laden car attack was prevented.
Some 4.8 kilograms of gel explosives, 2.2 kilograms of plastic explosives, 1,440 kilograms of material used to make explosives, 16 hand grenades and 63 weapons, of which 29 were heavy and long barreled, were confiscated during the operations.
The army also seized 20 tons of food, 1,100 pieces of clothing and 95 cylinders.
The statement said that 269 people were detained for allegedly helping the PKK.
Drugs were also among the materials seized in the operations, estimated to be worth a total of 21 million Turkish Liras. The army also confiscated a total of 9.5 million illegal cigarettes and 30,860 liters of fuel worth 67 million liras in total.
Meanwhile, Turkish warplanes conducted air strikes against PKK targets in the Avaşîn-Basyan and Kandil regions of northern Iraq.
Twelve PKK targets were destroyed during an operation carried out between 8:01 p.m. and 9:03 p.m. on Nov. 28 after intelligence was received and evaluated.
At the same time, police detained a woman accused of being a wanted PKK militant at Istanbul’s main airport on Nov. 27, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Sara Aktaş was detained at Atatürk International Airport while seeking to travel to Germany, the agency said.
Aktaş is accused of being a key figure in the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), which Turkish authorities regard as an umbrella group that includes the PKK. She faces up to 15 years in jail on charges of membership of an armed “terror” group.