PKK’s Black Sea commander killed in operation by military
Two terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants, including the commander responsible for the outlawed group's Black Sea operations, were killed on Saturday in a large-scale military operation launched after two Turkish soldiers died in an attack in Amasya, Today's Zaman reported.
One of the two terrorists killed was Mahir Koc, who used the code name Celal Baskale and was in charge of PKK operations in Turkey's Black Sea region, Amasya Governor Abdil Celil Oz announced on Saturday. Koc previously was a bodyguard for Fehman Huseyin of Syria, one of the PKK's chief commanders. Huseyin uses the alias Bahoz Erdal.
Pvt. Murat Erdem and Sr. Sgt. Osman Canturk were killed on Wednesday in a PKK ambush near the town of Cigdemlik, located in central Amasya province. A ground operation was launched by provincial gendarmerie command units following the deaths. The troops were able to locate the hideout of the terrorists on Friday night. Koc and another terrorist were killed early Saturday morning. The security forces also seized a large number of explosives and ammunition after the two were killed.
Governor Oz said ballistics reports indicate that the explosives found with the terrorists were the same as those used in the ambush that left the two soldiers dead on Wednesday.
The PKK's Black Sea operations sustained a heavy blow with the death of their regional leader, the governor said.