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Turkey ‘neutralizes’ man behind deadly 2016 suicide attack on police

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Turkey’s intelligence agency has “neutralized” the mastermind of a 2016 suicide truck bombing that killed 12 police officers, the official Anadolu news agency reported on Monday.

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), listed as a terror group by Turkey and its Western allies, claimed the attack on a police building in the southeastern city of Cizre, which also wounded 75 other police officers and civilians.

Mesut Taskin, whom Turkey blames for orchestrating the attack, was “neutralized” in an operation carried out by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) abroad, Anadolu said, citing security sources.

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Turkish officials use the term “neutralize” to refer to operations in which suspects are either killed or captured.

Turkey released no details about the operation, or say where it was staged.

Cizre, a majority Kurdish town near Turkey’s border with Syria and Iraq, was badly hit by violence after a 2015 ceasefire between the PKK and government forces collapsed.

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The government has vowed to press on with the campaign to eradicate the PKK from the southeast and from northern Iraq where the group is holed up in mountainous areas.

The PKK, which first took up arms in 1984 with the aim of carving out an independent state for Turkey’s Kurdish minority, has waged a bloody insurgency against the Turkish state.