Written by Staff Writer
06 Feb, 2017 | 12:30 pm
Turkish police on Sunday detained some 400 suspected members of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) in anti-terror raids in six provinces, state media reported. This constitutes the largest ever operation against the jihadist group to be conducted on Turkish soil.
Those held were mainly foreign nationals, Anadolu news agency said. At least 60 suspects were detained in the capital Ankara, while 150 were arrested in Sanliurfa province near the Syrian border. One of the men arrested in Izmir is a Syrian national who had made contact with gangs dealing in people smuggling to sneak ISIS terrorists into Europe.
Eighteen people were detained in Istanbul and the neighboring province of Kocaeli on suspicion of planning attacks. Another 14 foreigners were due to be deported, including 10 children.
This intensive raid follows the first confirmed attack by ISIS on Turkey on New Year’s Eve which claimed the lives of 39 people. The New Year’s Eve attack on the Reina nightclub was the first time ISIS claimed responsibility for an atrocity in Turkey, although it had been suspected of several bombings during 2016.
Police detained the suspected New Year’s Eve attacker, Abdulgadir Masharipov, an Uzbek national, on January 16 after over over two weeks on the run and authorities say he has confessed to the massacre.
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