ANKARA

Since mid-July, Turkish security forces have neutralized at least 38 terrorists on Turkish soil as part of the country’s Yildirim anti-terror operations, a government official said on Saturday.

During the group of nine Yildirim anti-terror operations, Turkey also destroyed 63 caves and shelters belonging to terrorists, Interior Ministry spokesman Ismail Catakli told reporters.

Turkish authorities often use the term “neutralized” to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.

Operation Yildirim-1 Cudi, launched in the southeastern province of Sirnak on July 14, and its associated operations are meant to neutralize terrorists believed to be hiding out in eastern and southeastern Turkey.

Catakli also said that this August, Turkey neutralized a total of 81 terrorists on Turkish soil – during Yildirim and separate operations – including several on the ministry’s wanted list.

In August, Turkey carried out a total of 9,197 counter-terrorism operations in rural areas and 840 in provincial areas, he said.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

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