Suspected PKK cell arrested in southern Turkey

– 8 terror suspects believed to have been plotting bomb attacks in Mersin province

– A joint anti-terrorism operation in the city of Mersin, southern Turkey, resulted in the arrest of eight PKK terrorists on Monday as they planned bomb attacks, a police official said, reported Anadolu Agency.

The operation — conducted by police and the MIT intelligence agency — resulted in the seizure of a large amount of explosives and other bomb-making equipment, the source said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The suspects, including three women, were detained after some of them were spotted scouting potential targets in Mersin such as police and gendarmerie headquarters and shopping malls.

A suspect identified as Medine A. was initially arrested when she was stopped and produced a fake identity document, the official said.

Her arrest led to the detention of two other female suspects before the operation was widened and five male suspects were arrested for assisting Medine A.

During searches at several addresses, police discovered a large number of detonators, explosives, wires and remote control devices. The suspects remain in police custody, where they are being processed.

In a separate operation in Mersin, four other PKK terrorists were arrested, the official said. Two later appeared in court and were remanded in custody.

The PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and EU — resumed its decades-old armed campaign in July last year. Since then, PKK terrorist attacks martyred more than 700 security personnel and also claimed the lives of many civilians, including women and children, while nearly 8,000 PKK terrorists were killed in army operations.