17 PKK terrorists detained in anti-terror operations in a week, statement says

ANADOLU AGENCY
ANKARA
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Turkish security forces detained 17 PKK terrorists in anti-terror operations last week, the Interior Ministry announced Monday.

A statement said security forces carried out 729 counterterrorism operations between Jan. 1 and 7.

Of the 17 terrorists, 11 were captured, while six surrendered to security forces.

During the operations, 112 suspects were arrested on charges of aiding and abetting the terror group PKK while 46 were taken into custody for alleged links to Daesh. Police also arrested 467 others for suspected ties to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) -- the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey -- with another 18 were charged with being linked to other terrorist groups.

Thirty-two shelters and caves used by PKK terrorists and nine improvised explosive devices and mines were destroyed in controlled detonations in the eastern and southeastern provinces of Erzincan, Batman, Diyarbakır, Mardin, Tunceli, Muş, Iğdır, Bitlis and Bingöl.

During the operations, security forces also seized 864 kilograms (1904.7 pounds) of bomb-making materials, eight hand grenades, 3,451 rounds of ammunition, and 16 weapons -- including nine long-barreled and heavy weapons.

Additionally, a total of 757 anti-narcotics and -contraband operations were carried out, during which 2,344 suspects were captured in 77 provinces nationwide, according to the statement.

The raids led to the seizure of 3,212 kg (7 lb.) of hashish, 516 kg (1137.5 lb.) of heroin, 9,759 illegal drugs, 714,000 packages of smuggled cigarettes, and nearly 27,000 liters of smuggled oil.

Security forces also arrested 101 suspects for organized migrant trafficking crimes.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey as well as the U.S. and EU. In its terror campaign against Turkey, which has lasted for more than three decades, over 40,000 people have been killed.

Since the group resumed its armed campaign in July 2015, more than 1,200 people, including security forces personnel and civilians, have lost their lives.

In recent years, Turkey has also suffered from a number of attacks by Daesh, including the October 2015 Ankara train station bombing that killed more than 100 people.

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