Turkey: Police arrest five suspected of planning terrorist attacks

Istanbul, 14 Jan. (AKI) - Turkish police on Monday arrested five people said to have arrived in Istanbul to carry out terrorist attacks on behalf of the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

According to the Turkish daily, The New Anatolian, police said the five are alleged to have received training in the camps of the rebel organisation.

Meanwhile, a member of the PKK surrendered to the Turkish security forces while another was captured in southeastern Turkey, a Turkish military statement said.

The Turkish daily said the statement posted on the Turkish Chief of General Staff's website revealed that one PKK militant had surrendered in the southeastern province of Batman while Turkish soldiers had detained the other in another southeastern province of Hakkari.

The security forces also seized 600 grams of explosives, two automatic rifles, ammunition and three hand grenades during operations, said the statement.

The Turkish military has massed up to 100,000 troops near the mountainous Iraqi border and has recently launched several cross-border attacks to attack PKK militants, alleged to use northern Iraq as a launch pad for attacks against Turkey.

The PKK is listed by the US and Turkey as a terrorist group, took up arms against Turkey in 1984. More than 38,000 people have been killed in the over-two-decade conflict.

Meanwhile, in a related development Turkish artillery shelled northern Iraq on Friday, but there were no immediate reports of any casualties or material damage, a Kurdish government official said.

Jabbar Yawar, spokesman for the Peshmerga security forces of northern Iraq, said Turkish forces had shelled two areas in Dahuk province for two hours. Earlier, Iraqi Kurdish television said the Turkish military had bombed northern Iraq.


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