Turkish forces end anti-PKK operations in two SE areas

Turkish forces end anti-PKK operations in two SE areas

Counter-terror operations in Nusaybin district and Sirnak province come to end after 82 days of fighting

By Serdar Acil, Halil Ibrahim Sincar and Soner Kilinc

MARDIN/SIRNAK, Turkey (AA) – An operation against PKK terrorists in the Nusaybin district of southeastern Mardin province has ended after 82 days of fighting, Turkish security sources said Friday.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said the operation followed a curfew which started on March 14.

The sources said a total of 496 terrorists were killed, 508 barricades removed, 52 trenches filled in and 1,258 improvised explosive devices destroyed during the nearly three-month operation.

A curfew is set to continue as security forces try to locate and destroy explosive devices planted by the terrorists.

During the operation, the PKK tried to slow down the security forces with improvised explosive devices planted inside buildings, gardens, the entrances of homes and under indoor carpets.

- Destruction of mosques and public buildings

Security sources added that PKK terrorists used mosques and public buildings as headquarters during the operation as well as schools and health centers.

Throughout the operation, the security forces found many homes wired with explosives or used as food and medicine depots by the terrorists.

In addition, the terrorists dug shelters and tunnels to form passages from house to house.

The same sources said panic among terrorists in the face of narrowing operation was overheard on the security forces' radios.

- Sirnak operation

In addition, ongoing fighting in Sirnak province which started on March 14, has also ended, said the sources.

A total of 498 terrorists were killed, 240 barricades removed, 39 pits filled in, 1,539 improvised explosive devices destroyed and 4,131 homes checked, it was stated.

In the Sirnak operation, 20 members of the security forces were martyred and two civilians lost their lives.

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, around 500 security personnel, including troops, police officers and village guards have been martyred and over 4,900 PKK terrorists killed in operations across Turkey and northern Iraq.

*Anadolu Agency Correspondent Servet Gunerigok contributed to this story from Ankara.

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