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1,000 members of terrorist PKK killed in operations since mid-March, Turkish military says

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The Turkish General Staff released a statement on Monday, stating that a total of 1,000 members of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) were killed in the operations in the southeastern provinces of Şırnak and Mardin between March 14 and June 3.

According to the statement, 495 terrorists were killed in the Nusaybin district of Mardin and 505 in Şırnak in a joint operation by the military and the National Police Department that was launched upon an order by the Prime Minister’s Office dated Feb. 16 and was finalized on June 3. The operation aimed at ending the PKK’s terror activities in the city of Şırnak and in Nusaybin, as well as reinstating public order and peace in those areas, the statement said, adding that maximum attention was paid not to harm civilians living in the region during the operation.

In Nusaybin, 515 barricades were removed, 53 trenches dug by PKK members were closed, 1,256 handmade explosives were destroyed, 239 guns of various types and sizes, 11,041 ammunitions, 45 walkie-talkies and 40 kilograms of bomb material were confiscated.

In the operations carried out in Şırnak, 238 barricades were lifted, 39 trenches were closed, 1,566 handmade explosives were destroyed, 280 guns of various types and sizes, 25,929 ammunitions, nine walkie-talkies and 6,420 kilograms of explosive material were seized.

The General Staff statement noted that some activities are still ongoing in the two areas such as extended searches, lifting of barricades, closing of trenches and destruction of explosives.

In its statement, the General Staff expressed condolences to the families of the Turkish soldiers, police officers and village guards killed in the clashes with the PKK, as well as thanking the local civilians for their support of the security forces.

The PKK is designated as a “terrorist organization” by the United States (US) and the European Union (EU), as well as Turkey. The 32-year-old conflict, which has claimed more than 40,000 lives, halted in March 2013 as part of the settlement process initiated between the PKK and the Turkish government. However, the PKK ended the ceasefire in the summer of 2015.

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