Anti-terror operation ends in Cizre, southeast Turkey
Interior minister says operation to clear town of PKK terrorists finished at midday
12 Şubat 2016 Cuma 00:11
The counter-terror operation in Cizre, the southeastern Turkish town that has seen fighting rage between security forces and PKK terrorists, has finished, the interior minister said Thursday.
Efkan Ala said a curfew on the town, which lies on the Syrian border in Sirnak province, would remain as police and troops searched for booby traps.
“The operational efforts in Cizre ended very successfully just a little while ago today but search-and-scan efforts will continue,” he told the reporters in Istanbul.
An intensified operation to root out the PKK began on Dec. 14, although a curfew was put in place in September. An anti-terror operation is still going on in the Sur district of Diyarbakir.
Ala said Cizre had been declared clear of terrorists at midday Thursday and security forces had full control of the area.
However, he warned: “There might be mines laid in some areas that could cause damage to our citizens. The filling of ditches and the removal of barricades may also take time.”
According to figures released by the Turkish military on Wednesday, 597 PKK members were killed in Cizre during the nearly two month operation.
Other towns in the southeast have seen similar operations but the ones in Cizre and Sur have proved the longest-running.
The PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU -- resumed its 30-year armed campaign last July. Since then, more than 260 members of the security forces have been martyred and thousands of PKK terrorists killed, according to officials.
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