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Turkish forces ‘neutralize’ 46 PKK terrorists in Turkey, northern Iraq

In this file picture, Turkish soldiers patrol a road in the country’s southeastern province of Sirnak near the border with Iraq's northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region. (Photo by AFP)

Turkish military forces have “neutralized” nearly four dozen members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group when they carried out a string of counter-terrorism operations in the country’s southeastern provinces as well as Iraq’s northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

The Interior Ministry, in a statement released on Monday, said 36 PKK terrorists were “neutralized” in counter-terrorism ground operation and airstrikes between July 23 and 30.

The statement said 18 Kurdish terrorists were killed while six others were captured. The remaining 12 surrendered themselves to Turkish authorities.

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

Two members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group carry automatic rifles on a road in the Qandil Mountains, northern Iraq, on June 22, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Meanwhile, the Turkish General Staff, in a message published on its official Twitter page, said Turkish Armed Forces conducted clean-up operations in the Metina region of northern Iraq on July 29, neutralizing 10 PKK terrorists.

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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