Akar, from an operations center in Sirnak on the Turkish side of the border, said during searches in a cave that was controlled after violent clashes, the bodies of 13 of our kidnapped citizens were found.
Akar said that the victims were killed at the beginning of the operation to take over the cave complex, adding that “all the terrorists in the cave … were neutralized.”
The identity of the Turkish citizens was not revealed and Akar said that their abduction had not been revealed before for security reasons.
There was no immediate statement from the PKK regarding the killings.
Akar said that Operation Claw-Eagle 2 had “neutralized” 48 PKK fighters, including two senior members, using a term the Turkish military uses to refer to killed or captured enemies.
Ammunition stores and PKK bases in the mountainous region were destroyed in the operation, which launched air strikes and helicopter-borne soldiers. The PKK is using bases in northern Iraq to launch cross-border attacks against Turkey.
Akar said that three Turkish soldiers were killed during the operation and three were wounded.
Tens of thousands have been killed since the PKK, which is designated a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, began an insurgency in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority southeast in 1984.
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