The residents of the Cizre district in Turkey’s southeastern Sirnak Province are returning to their homes as the operation against the PKK terrorist organisation successfully ended in the region.
A curfew, which had been imposed on Dec. 14 for the security of civilians during the anti-terror operation, was also partially lifted at 5 am on Wednesday, allowing residents to return to their neighbourhoods.
The town has been secured with a checkpoint manned by police and soldiers at the entrance and another police checkpoint within Cizre has been carefully screening the returning families, checking ID cards, opening bags and examining the trunks of cars.
The reconstruction of several buildings, including schools and hospital which were damaged by terror attacks, have also been mostly completed in the town.
Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala on Feb. 11 announced that the anti-terror operation in the district finished but the curfew on the town would remain as Turkish security forces still 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.
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 said.
According to figures released by the Turkish military, more than 600 PKK terrorists were killed in Cizre during the nearly two-month long 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.
Meanwhile, curfews remain in place in Sur, a historic district of the Diyarbakir Province, and in Idil, a district in Sirnak Province, where Turkish forces are continuing their operations against PKK terrorists.
In a recent incident in Diyarbakir, an improvised explosive device went off prematurely, killing a suspected bomber and wounding four children, the governor's office said.
Authorities also reported that they believed the man who had previously been detained for links to PKK, accidentally detonated the bomb on Monday as he was carrying it.
The PKK- considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, and EU- resumed its 30-year armed campaign against the Turkish state in late July, after unilaterally ending a two-year ceasefire.
Since then, more than 300 people including security officials and civilians have died in consequence of PKK terror attacks in Turkey.
Furthermore, PKK terrorists disrupted the social order in many provinces, as they dug up trenches and set up road-barricades on the streets.
The terrorists also set fire to several school buildings, hospitals, mosques and even targeted kindergartens.