Turkish Forces Detain 44 PKK Militants, Including Istanbul Terror Act Organizer
15:47 13.07.2017(updated 15:49 13.07.2017)
Turkish security forces and intelligence have detained 44 fighters of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), outlawed in Turkey, including the organizer of the 2016 Vodafone Arena terror attack in the Turkish city of Istanbul, the city's governor, Vasip Sahin, said Thursday.
ANKARA (Sputnik) – Tensions between Ankara and the Kurdish pro-independence PKK escalated in 2015, after a three-year ceasefire between the two sides collapsed over a series of terror attacks allegedly committed by PKK members. This prompted Ankara to launch a military operation in Kurdish-dominated, southeastern regions.
"The operation carried out in four country's provinces resulted in detention of 44 members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party. It was determined that one of them masterminded the blasts near the Besiktas stadium [Vodafon Arena], he left the car loaded with explosives which blasted in a minute," Sahin told the CNN Turk broadcaster.
On December 10, two bombs exploded near the Vodafone Arena Stadium in the Turkish city of Istanbul, killing 44 people, including 38 police officers. The Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), a militant group considered by Ankara as an affiliate of the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK), claimed responsibility for the deadly bombings.
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