Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala on Thursday announced that the anti-terror operation in the Cizre town of Turkey’s southeastern Sirnak Province has finished, adding that a curfew on the town would remain as Turkish security forces searched for booby traps.
“The operational efforts in Cizre ended very successfully just a little while ago today but search-and-scan efforts will continue,” Ala told the reporters in Istanbul.
Cizre which lies on the Syrian border of Turkey has seen fighting rage between Turkish security forces and PKK terrorists since mid December when an intensified anti-terror operation against PKK was launched.
Ala said Cizre had been declared clear of PKK terrorists and security forces had full control of the area.
“There might be mines laid in some areas that could cause damage to our citizens. The filling of ditches and the removal of barricades may also take time,” he added.
According to figures released by the Turkish military, more than 600 PKK terrorists were killed in Cizre during the nearly two month operation.
Also during the operation, nearly 700 barricades where PKK terrorists built booby traps and planted improvised explosive devices (IED) were removed and 300 ditches were closed.
Security forces defused more than a thousand IED’s which were planted in civilians’ houses, the figures showed.
According to security sources, at least 24 Turkish security officers including 14 soldiers and 10 policemen died during the anti-terror operation in Cizre.
The PKK - listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and EU - resumed its 30-year armed campaign last July. Since then, more than 300 members of the security forces have died and thousands of PKK terrorists killed, according to officials.
The number of security officers who had died since the beginning of this year has reached to 64.