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45 arrested, 5 killed in anti-PKK operations in Turkey

45 arrested, 5 killed in anti-PKK operations in Turkey

2 PKK terrorists killed in artillery strike, security forces pick up terrorists' radio messages

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Security forces arrested 45 suspected members of the PKK terrorist organization on Thursday in southeast Turkey’s Van and Diyarbakir provinces, a security official said.

Meanwhile, the Turkish General Staff revealed that five PKK terrorists were killed in Sirnak and Mardin, also in the southeast.

The arrests of 37 suspects in Van province were carried out by the Directorate of Security and the Gendarmerie Command in Ercis, a town on the northern shore of Lake Van.

Documents and digital material were seized in raids.

A further eight suspects were arrested in anti-terrorism raids in the town of Silvan, Diyarbakir province.

In Sirnak’s mountainous Uludere district on the Iraq border, Turkish artillery strikes hit a group of terrorists planning an attack on Monday, the General Staff statement said.

Two were killed and intercepted radio communication revealed at least four others were seriously injured. One terrorist was heard asking for medical help and saying the survivors were heading for a cave and were in a “really difficult condition”.

A second terrorist told the survivor to leave the dead and attempt to carry the wounded away.

In nearby Cizre, two other PKK members were killed on Wednesday as they tried to cross illegally from Syria, the statement said. In Mardin’s Derik district, another PKK terrorist was killed on Thursday. No further details were provided.

The PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU -- resumed its decades-old armed campaign in July last year and has been responsible for the deaths of more than 1,100 security force members and civilians, including women and children.

Around 10,000 PKK terrorists have been killed or apprehended in the same period.

Reporting by Halil Ibrahim Sincar, Sinan Uslu, Necat Hazar and Yusuf Bati ; Writing by Didar Yusra Dilbura Oz

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