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Turkish soldiers kill 53 Kurdish militants

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The Anadolu news agency reported the operations as having been carried out in the Sirnak, Hakkari, Diyarbakir, Bingol, Elazig and Siirt provinces. Turkish officials told the news agency that three regional leaders of the PKK were among the militants killed, with the mission claiming the lives of 10 Turkish soldiers and injuring 36 more.

In the process of the operation, the security forces managed to seize varied weapons, such as hand grenades, machine guns, rocket launchers, and bomb making components, as well as over 8,500 pounds of ammonium nitrate, gas cylinders, mines, ammunition, cables, and fuses.

According to the General Staff, the Turkish soldiers also confiscated drugs and contraband fuel. Additionally, the soldiers destroyed storage and shelters utilized by the Kurdish militants.

Violence in Turkey escalated in mid-2015, when the Turkish government launched a military campaign in the country's southeast against the PKK, considered to be a terrorist organization in the eyes of Ankara. Violence escalated further in December, when the Turkish authorities declared a curfew in a number of its southeastern regions.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan alleges over 5,000 Kurdish insurgents have been killed in the campaign since mid-December, a figure that pro-Kurdish officials contend includes hundreds of civilians.

2017.06.23 / 16:59
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