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Turkey arrests 90 over ‘links to Kurdish militants’ in several provinces

Muslim Times(Web Desk) – Turkey has detained 90 people over suspected ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group in simultaneous operations conducted across eight provinces.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Turkish Interior Ministry said 80 arrests were made in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir and the remaining in Istanbul, Mersin, Van, Sirnak, Sanliurfa, Batman and Mardin.

It also noted that the raids had been carried out to prevent the activities of PKK militants, and that the operation was still ongoing.

The ministry, however, did not release the identity of those taken into custody.

It further said that many documents and digital material related to the militant group had been seized from the suspects during the raids.

The arrests came a week after 10 Turkish soldiers were killed and wounded in a bombing by Kurdish militants that targeted a military convoy in the country’s southeastern Batman Province.

A shaky ceasefire between Ankara and the PKK that had stood since 2013 was declared null and void by the militants in 2015 in the wake of a large-scale Turkish military campaign against the group.

The Turkish air force has been carrying out operations against PKK positions in the country’s troubled southeastern border region as well as in northern Iraq and neighboring Syria.

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.

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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