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Turkish forces 'neutralize' 48 PKK militants in northern Iraq: Defence Minister Turkish Forces
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Turkish forces 'neutralize' 48 PKK militants in northern Iraq: Defence Minister

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 14 Feb 2021, 09:26 pm

Ankara/Sputnik: The Turkish armed forces have "neutralized" 48 members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), considered by Ankara as a terrorist organization, during an anti-terrorist operation in northern Iraq, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Sunday.

Ankara uses the term "neutralized" to refer to militants who have surrendered to, were captured by, or killed by Turkish security forces.

"Operation Pence Kartal-2 [launched on Wednesday] has completed. During the operations, three of our fellow soldiers were killed, three others were injured. Forty-eight terrorists, including three of their leaders, were killed, two terrorists were captured alive. More than 50 terrorist facilities, including ammunition warehouses, caves and bases in [the region of] Gara, were destroyed," Akar said, as cited in the ministry's statement.

According to the minister, 13 bodies of Turkish citizens kidnapped by the PKK members were found in one of the caves. Those involved in abducting were killed, Akar added.

The Turkish government has been fighting the PKK, a Kurdish far-left militant and political group which seeks to establish Kurdish autonomy in Turkey, since the early 1980s.

The PKK and Ankara signed a ceasefire agreement in 2013, but it collapsed just two years later over several terror attacks supposedly committed by PKK militants.

Since many PKK bases are located in northern Iraq, Ankara regularly conducts land and air operations in the area.

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