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Turkish armed forces, jets kill 47 Kurdish PKK militants in one week

In this file photo, a group of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants enter northern Iraq in the Heror area, northeast of Dahuk, located 430 kilometers (260 miles) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq. (Photo by AP)

Turkish ground forces and military aircraft have killed roughly 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 near the border with Iraq's northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in the past week.

The Interior Ministry, in a statement released on Monday, said 2,218 operations were conducted between August 6 and 13, during which a total of 35 PKK terrorists were killed. Three Kurdish militants were captured alive, while nine others surrendered as well.

The statement further noted that 128 people were also arrested for allegedly aiding and abetting the PKK terrorist group.

 On Sunday, the Turkish Interior Ministry stated that high-profile PKK militant Ibrahim Çoban, better known by the nom de guerre Atakan Mahir, had been “neutralized” during an offensive in the country’s eastern province of Tunceli.

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

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

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

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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