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Security forces neutralize 'most wanted' PKK terrorist in eastern Turkey

Slain PKK terrorist Ibrahim Çoban, better known by the nom de guerre Atakan Mahir (R) (Photo by Turkish-language Yeni Demokrasi newspaper)

Turkish security forces have killed a prominent member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group during a counter-terrorism operation, supported by fighter jets, in the country’s eastern province of Tunceli.

The Turkish Interior Ministry announced in a statement on Sunday that Ibrahim Çoban, better known by the nom de guerre Atakan Mahir, was “neutralized” during an offensive in the province earlier this week.

The statement added that Çoban was on the red category of the terror blacklist.

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

Meanwhile, four Kurdish PKK terrorists were killed in an anti-terror operation in the southeastern Hakkari province.

The Turkish General Staff, in a post published on its official Twitter page on Friday, announced that high-profile PKK militant Ahmet Dorak, better known by the nom de guerre Sahin, had been “neutralized” during an offensive in the Kocakoy region of the country’s Kurdish-populated southeastern province of Diyarbakir on August 2.

Slain PKK terrorist Ahmet Dorak, better known by the nom de guerre Sahin (Photo by Turkish-language Yeni Safak newspaper)

On August 4, a Turkish police officer lost his life and eight others sustained injuries when PKK militants detonated a bomb as a military vehicle was travelling along a road in Hakkari province.

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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