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Wanted PKK terrorist killed in Turkish airstrike in northern Iraq

Slain PKK terrorist Murat Akdogan, better known by the nom de guerre Ali Gever (Photo by the Turkish-language Yeni Safak newspaper)

Turkish fighter jets have killed a prominent member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group during a counter-terrorism operation in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region. 

Turkish Armed Forces, in a statement published on its official Twitter page on Sunday, said Murat Akdogan, better known by the nom de guerre Ali Gever, was "neutralized" during an airstrike against a militant hideout in the Avasin-Basyan region on September 14.

The statement added that Akdogan was on the orange category of the terror blacklist.

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

On August 22, Gumushane Provincial Governor Okay Memis said high-ranking PKK militant Baris Oner, better known by the nom de guerre Turk Tarik, had been found dead in the Kurtun district of Turkey’s northern province following an offensive conducted at around 6 a.m. local time (0300 GMT).

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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