SIRNAK, Turkey (AA) – PKK terrorists have desecrated a mosque and several copies of the holy Quran in southeastern Turkey’s Sirnak province, where counter-terrorism operations remain ongoing, Anadolu Agency has learnt.
An Anadolu Agency news team was taken inside Sirnak’s central Geylani Mosque recently, where not only the building was found to be in ruins, with bullet holes pocketing its walls, but pages of the Muslim holy book were also found to be torn, burnt and scattered everywhere.
The mosque faced destruction after it was used by PKK terrorists as a shelter for about one month, unnamed security sources told AA.
According to AA footage from the scene broadcast Sunday, soldiers were seen carefully picking up the desecrated pages of the Quran from the floor and putting on high shelves.
The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking with the media, said the PKK terrorists detonated a makeshift bomb at the mosque’s entrance in order to stop the advance of security forces. The explosion severely damaged the place of worship.
Terrorists also opened fire on security forces from the mosque's windows, which had been covered up with sheets for camouflage, they added.
The anti-terror operation, launched March 14, aims to clear the city of terrorists and ensure public security.
So far, 408 terrorists have been “neutralized” by security forces in the province, while 191 barriers have been removed and 29 ditches filled up.
Security forces also seized 1,122 makeshift explosives over the past 90 days, the sources added.
*Anadolu Agency correspondent Hale Turkes contributed to this story from Ankara.