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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Turkey says it finds bodies of 13 killed by militants in Iraq

ISTANBUL: Turkish soldiers conducting an operation against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in northern Iraq have found the bodies of 13 kidnapped Turks executed in a cave, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said.
Forty eight PKK militants were killed in the operation, while three Turkish soldiers were killed and three wounded, Akar said in a statement released on Sunday. Twelve of the kidnapped Turks had been shot in the head and one in the shoulder.
Turkey launched a military operation against the PKK in northern Iraq’s Gara region on Feb. 10 to secure its border and find citizens who had been kidnapped previously, he said. The identity of those found dead in the cave was unclear.
“According to initial information given by two terrorists captured alive, our citizens were martyred at the start of the operation by the terrorist responsible for the cave,” Akar said at the operation’s control center near the Iraq border.
A statement on a PKK website said some prisoners it was holding, including Turkish intelligence, police and military personnel, had died during clashes in the area. The group denied it had ever hurt prisoners.

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