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    Turkish army deals a huge blow to PKK, 19 more terrorists killed

    Hurriyet English
    10.05.2008 - 10:51 | Son Güncelleme:

    Turkish army said late Friday the outlawed separatist organization PKK had dissolved at a great extend, and about 200 separatists on the Mount Qandil was forced to lay down their arms after the air strikes on May 1-2. The PKK had attacked an outpost in the southeastern province of Hakkari on Friday "to change this panic mood," and 19 separatists were killed in the clashes, the army added in a statement posted on its website. It also added a total six soldiers were also killed. The statement came two days after the top general said there will be "a surprise" soon. (UPDATED)

    "Some 200 terrorists based on the Mount Qandil passed through the check points of the regional administration in north of Iraq and dispersed to settlements in the region following the air operations. All these developments indicate that the terrorist organization is in panic and demoralized," the General Staff said in the statement.   

    Turkish army held air operations on May 1-2 to Mount Qandil, where the PKK separatists are hidden. Some 150 separatists were killed in the operations, which are described as an "important blow to terrorists," and a new stage in the fight against PKK but Turkish officials.

    In its statement, the General Staff said that a terrorist with an alias "Bahoz", who was trying to head the armed groups of the terrorist organization, left the Zap region and ran away to Sinad-Haftanin region.

    The General Staff also said another so-called top member of the terrorist organization fled to Mount Gara.

    "Terrorist Cemil Bayik, who is also said to be a top member of the terrorist organization, escaped to a neighboring country with a crowded group. Most of his so-called bodyguards were killed in clashes with the security forces of that country, and Bayik's whereabouts are unknown," the General Staff said.

    Turkey has stepped up military action against the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist group by much of the international community including the EU and the U.S., since December, carrying out several air strikes and a week-long ground incursion into northern Iraq in February, where it says more than 2,000 PKK separatists take refuge.

    The United States has backed Turkey's military action in Iraq by providing intelligence on PKK movements there. Turkey has also revived dialogue with the Kurdish administration of northern Iraq, whom it has long accused of tolerating and even aiding the PKK, in a bid to enlist their cooperation against the PKK.

    The Turkish government has a one-year parliamentary authorisation for cross-border military action against the PKK, which expires in October. Turkish army has launced a week-long ground operation against PKK positions in northern Iraq in February.

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