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Turkey Arrests Iraqi ISIS Leader

Turkey Arrests Iraqi ISIS Leader

Tuesday, 9 January, 2018 - 13:15
Two members of the police special forces patrol outside a police station in Istanbul, Turkey. (Reuters)

Turkish anti terrorism forces arrested Monday an Iraqi senior member of ISIS in Kayseri province, central Turkey.

He is described as an "Emir" or "Mufti" in the terrorist organization and was referred to the court, which ordered his arrest.

More than 300 people have lost their lives in ISIS-claimed attacks in Turkey, where the terror organization has targeted civilians in suicide bombings, and rocket and gun attacks.

Turkish security forces have been involved in a long-running campaign to thwart ISIS attacks.

Turkish security forces have carried out simultaneous raids in 14 states, during which more than 300 people suspected of links with ISIS have been arrested, mostly foreign nationals. Documents and digital materials have been seized too, revealing plans to carry out separate attacks on the eve of New Year's celebrations.

Security sources revealed that Turkish authorities also arrested 1,447 people in Istanbul alone during 2017, most of them were foreigners suspected of belonging to the terrorist organization.

The sources said that the anti-terrorism teams in the Istanbul Police Department carried out 58 operations against ISIS in 2017, and Turkish intelligence teams thwarted many of the armed and suicide attacks last year, including attacks targeting restaurants, parking lots, shopping malls and celebrations in Istanbul.

They pointed out that the Turkish authorities seized a number of weapons and ammunition, as well as explosive belts and bombs.

Several Turkish cities, including Istanbul and the capital Ankara, have been the target of suicide attacks by members of ISIS since July 2015 that killed 319 people.

The Turkish authorities arrested, in more than 20,000 security operations over the past year, more than 5,000 members of the organization, mostly foreigners, and deported dozens.

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