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Over 2,000 PKK militants slain in Turkish military operations: Minister

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Turkish Interior Minister Selami Altinok (© Anadolu news agency)

Turkish Interior Minister Selami Altinok says more than 2,000 members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have been killed ever since the Turkish military launched clean-up operations against the militants in late June.

"Since July 22, a total of 2,483 terrorist attacks have taken place in Turkey. Turkish gendarmerie, security and armed forces have also conducted 4,328 operations in the country during which over 2,000 terrorists were neutralized," Altinok told state-run Anadolu news agency on Monday.

He further noted that Turkey would not allow anyone to harm its sovereignty.

Turkey has been engaged in one of its biggest military operations in the southern border region in the recent past. The Turkish military has been conducting offensives against the alleged positions of the Takfiri Daesh terrorists in northern Syria as well as those of the PKK in northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey.

The operations began in the wake of a deadly July 20 bombing in the southern Turkish town of Suruc, an ethnically Kurdish town located close to the Kurdish town of Kobani on the other side of the border in Syria, where over 30 people died. The Turkish government blamed Daesh for the bombing. The Kurds saw the government as responsible for the attack over its support for the Daesh militants.

Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants stand behind a barricade during clashes with Turkish forces in Bismil district of Diyarbakir Province, Turkey, on September 28, 2015. (© AFP)

According to a report published by Hurriyet daily newspaper, over 150 Turkish military and police officers have been killed since July in armed attacks blamed on the PKK, blacklisted as a terrorist group by Turkey and numerous other countries.

On September 17, the PKK declared as null a unilateral ceasefire with the government in Ankara, accusing it of waging the military operations against the group to gain more votes in the November 1 snap elections.

The PKK has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since the 1980s. The conflict has left tens of thousands of people dead.

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