Turkish security forces have killed seven senior members of the outlawed terrorist group the PKK in an anti-terror operation in southeastern Turkey's Mardin, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Sunday.
Addressing a rally attended by opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) members in the Black Sea province of Trabzon, Süleyman Soylu said the senior PKK members, who were responsible for deadly terror attacks in Turkey, were killed in Mardin's Savur district last week. One of the terrorists was likely an Iranian national.
In the operation, one of the law enforcers suffered minor injuries, the minister confirmed.
Soylu said one of the deceased terrorists was the PKK head of Şanlıurfa's Viranşehir district, while two others were identified as the heads of Savur and Bismil districts in southeastern Diyarbakır.
Yusuf Kılınç, the terrorist who allegedly set up explosives at Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Deputy Chairman Mehmet Mehdi Eker's mother's grave, was also killed in the operations.
Meanwhile, the Turkish General Staff in a statement on Saturday confirmed that between March 31 and April 6, 36 terrorists were killed in anti-PKK operations in various Turkish provinces, including Diyarbakır, Şırnak, Batman, Tunceli, Hakkari, and Kars.
That number was eventually raised to 43 in a separate statement issued by the interior ministry yesterday.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU and has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, during which more than 40,000 people have been killed.
Since the group resumed its armed campaign in July 2015, more than 1,200 people, including security personnel and civilians, have lost their lives.
The interior minister recently said recruitment for the PKK over the past six months has decreased by at least 90 percent, compared to the previous year.
He also revealed that during the same period some 14,684 PKK suspects were detained in anti-terror operations, of whom 2,611 were later arrested.