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Top PKK terrorist wanted for teenager's murder killed in northern Turkey

Kurdistan PKK fighters jog with their rifles during a training session at Amedia area in Iraq’s northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, located 10 kilometers near the border with Turkey. (Photo by Getty Images)

Turkish security forces have killed a senior member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group accused of killing a teenager last year during an anti-terrorism operation in the country’s northern province of Gumushane.

Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, in a statement published on his official Twitter page on Sunday, announced that Mehmet Yakisir, better known by the nom de guerre Zeynel, had been killed during an offensive in the Kurtun district of the province.

Yakisir reportedly killed 15-year-old Eren Bulbul last August as the latter was showing security forces a PKK terrorist hideout in the Macka district of the northern province of Trabzon.

The statement added that Yakisir was on the red category of the terror blacklist, adding that another PKK militant, identified as Levent Dayan, was separately killed in the same region. Dayan operated under the alias Rodi.

Turkey’s Interior Ministry, in a statement released on Thursday, announced that high-ranking PKK terrorist Sefer Acar, better known by the nom de guerre Welat Gever, had been “neutralized” during an offensive in the Kocyigit village of the eastern province of Bitlis on June 28.

The Turkish military generally uses the term "neutralize" to signify that the militants were killed, captured or surrendered.

The statement added that Acar was on the red category of the terror blacklist, and wanted for a terrorist attack on a Turkish military helicopter in Iraq’s northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, which left 15 Turkish soldiers dead.

Turkish gendarmerie forces recovered a Turkish lira banknote dated 1998 from the slain militant, which read, “Money from the helicopter pilot downed in Herko 11-27-1998.” The terrorist had kept the memento of his deadly attack for 20 years.

PKK militants regularly clash with Turkish forces in the Kurdish-dominated southeast of Turkey attached to northern Iraq.

Turkey, along with the European Union and the United States, has declared the PKK a terrorist group and banned it. The militant group has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region since 1984.

A shaky ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July 2015. Attacks on Turkish security forces have soared ever since.

Over the past few months, Turkish ground and air forces have been carrying out operations against PKK positions in the country as well as in northern Iraq and neighboring Syria.

More than 40,000 people have been killed during the three-decade conflict between Turkey and the autonomy-seeking militant group.

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