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Turkish security forces strike at PKK smuggling income

Turkish security forces strike at PKK smuggling income
5M smuggled cigarette packs -- 'taxed' to fund terrorism -- seized in southeastern Turkey

By Yilmaz Kazandioglu and Nevzat Tas

HAKKARI, Turkey (AA) - Turkish security forces seized millions of packs of smuggled cigarettes in the country's southeast Monday, military sources said.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity as they are not authorized to speak to the media, said the Gendarme Command in the southeastern Hakkari province carried out operations in the Yuksekova and Semdinli districts and seized 5 million cigarette packs.

Besides fighting PKK terrorists in the region, the security forces also carry out operations to thwart tea- and cigarette-smuggling, which is one of the key sources of income for terrorist PKK organization.

Using so-called customs stations in Iraq and Iran, the PKK is known to collect "taxes" from smugglers who illegally import tea and cigarettes into the country.

The outlawed organization use this "tax" income to fund its terrorist attacks.

The PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization also by the U.S., and the EU -- resumed its 30-year armed campaign against the Turkish state in July 2015.

Since then, more than 450 Turkish security personnel have been martyred and over 4,500 PKK terrorists killed.

*Anadolu Agency correspondent Servet Gunerigok contributed to this report from Ankara.

source: News Feed
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