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Turkey Detains Dozens of ISIS Suspects ahead of New Year

Turkey Detains Dozens of ISIS Suspects ahead of New Year

Monday, 30 December, 2019 - 07:15
Turkish police stand guard outside the Reina nightclub by the Bosphorus, which was attacked by ISIS, in Istanbul, Turkey, January 1, 2017. (Reuters)

Police in Turkey detained dozens of people suspected of links to the ISIS group, the state-run news agency reported Monday, in an apparent sweep against the militant group ahead of New Year celebrations.

At least 33 foreign nationals were detained in the capital Ankara in a joint operation by anti-terrorism police and the national intelligence agency, according to the Anadolu Agency.

Police conducted simultaneous, pre-dawn raids in the city of Batman, in southeast Turkey, where 22 suspects were detained, it said in a separate report.

Raids were also conducted in the cities of Adana and Kayseri where 15 people, including six foreign nationals were detained.

Anadolu said the IS suspects apprehended in Ankara were from Iraq, Syria and Morocco. Police were searching for some 17 other suspects, the report said.

The country was hit by a wave of attacks in 2015 and 2016 blamed on ISIS and Kurdish militants that killed over 300 people.

ISIS also claimed responsibility for an attack at an Istanbul nightclub during New Year celebrations in the early hours of 2017. The attack killed 39 people, most of them foreigners.

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