By Halil Ibrahim Sincar, Sinan Uslu, Necat Hazar and Yusuf Bati
VAN, Turkey (AA) - 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, in Sirnak and Mardin, also in the southeast, three PKK terrorists were killed, a military official said.
In Sirnak’s mountainous Uludere district on the Iraq border, Turkish artillery strikes hit a group of terrorists planning an attack, the official said on condition of anonymity due to security concerns.
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 Mardin’s Derik district, another PKK terrorist was killed according to a second security official who again requested anonymity for safety reasons. No further details were provided.
Meanwhile, the arrest of 37 suspects in Van province were carried out by the Provincial Directorate of Security and the Provincial Gendarmerie Command in Ercis, a town on the northern shore of Lake Van.
Documents and digital material were seized in raids.
A further eight were arrested in anti-terrorism raids in the town of Silvan, Diyarbakir province.
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.