Turkish security forces have killed two most wanted PKK terrorists in the eastern province of Elazığ, the Interior Ministry said in a statement Thursday.
The terrorists were killed by provincial gendarmerie units during a counterterrorism operation launched in the rural areas of Yoğunbilek village in Elazığ's Arıcak district, the statement said.
One of the terrorists was identified as Ferhat Akgün, who went by the codename "Sorej Tatvan." He was in the gray category of the Interior Ministry's Most Wanted Terrorist list and had a TL 300,000 bounty on his head, the statement added.
The list categorizes terrorists in different color groups, red, blue, green, orange and gray, depending on the level of threat they pose to Turkey's national security. Red is considered the highest threat level.
Investigations revealed that the terrorists were responsible for killing three gendarmerie soldiers and injuring one and a village guard using improvised explosive devices (IED), when the security forces were carrying out a counterterrorism operation in the Görese Mountain between Elazığ and southeastern Diyarbakır province on March 13, 2018.
Meanwhile, security sources said a high-ranking terrorist on Turkey's Most Wanted list was executed by the PKK due to internal conflicts between the terrorists, the Turkish language daily, Sabah reported.
The body of Erhan Gülen, who was also on the Interior Ministry's gray list and went by the codename "Modem Kanireş," was found by gendarmerie forces in a cave during a counterterrorism operation launched in the rural areas of Tunceli province on May 15.
Security sources said that the executed terrorist's death was announced as suicide by the terror group.
Turkey has killed 420 high-level terrorists, including 16 red-listed terrorists, over the past two and half years, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan confirmed earlier this month.
Turkish security forces regularly conduct counterterrorism operations in the eastern and southeastern provinces of Turkey, where the PKK has attempted to establish a strong presence and bases.
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) also carry out cross-border operations in northern Iraq, a region where PKK terrorists have hideouts and bases from which they carry out attacks on Turkey.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU, has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women and children.
Turkish soldier killed by PKK terrorists in northern Iraq
A Turkish soldier was killed by PKK terrorists on Friday during cross-border operations in northern Iraq.
The fight against terrorism has been one of the prominent issues in relations between Turkey and Iraq. Turkey has long been stressing that it will not tolerate terror threats posed against its national security and has called on Iraqi officials to take the necessary steps to eliminate the terrorist group. Ankara also previously underlined that if the expected steps are not taken, it will not shy away from targeting terror threats, particularly in Sinjar.
The TSK regularly conducts cross-border operations in northern Iraq, a region where PKK terrorists have hideouts and bases from which to carry out attacks in Turkey. In mid-2014, the PKK managed to establish a foothold in Sinjar on the pretext that it was protecting the local Yazidi community from Daesh. Since then, the PKK has reportedly established ground in Sinjar as a new base for its logistical and command and control activities. Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) previously said that the PKK's presence in Sinjar is unacceptable and called for the militants to leave the area.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU, has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women and children. The terrorist organization isn't just active in Turkey but operates throughout the region, particularly in Syria and Iraq.
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