Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has announced that a total of 8, 477 people have been detained while 2,603 of them have been arrested due to their alleged links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) over the past five months.

Soylu said operations against the PKK intensified during winter and the Turkish security forces entered each and every base and shelter used by the PKK militants.

“During the winter period, 129 operations were conducted against 125 so-called [PKK] bases and shelters. Over the past five months, 661 shelters were destroyed across 22 provinces,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

Soylu also noted that 126 attacks planned by the PKK were foiled before they were put into action.

With regards to the number of the PKK terrorists killed in security operations, the minister said 689 PKK terrorists have been killed over the past five months.

The Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), an offshoot of the PKK, carried out deadly attacks over the past months in Turkey. TAK claimed responsibility for twin bombings in İstanbul on Dec. 10 that killed 45 people and injured 166 as well as a car bomb attack in Kayseri province on Dec.17 which killed 15 soldiers.

Following the breakdown of a cease-fire in July 2015 between the PKK and the Turkish authorities, clashes intensified between the PKK and the Turkish security forces in the country’s southeast.

(Turkish Minute)