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Turkey arrests alleged IS members ahead of national holiday

Turkey has been hit by several bloody attacks blamed on IS [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 29 October, 2017

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Turkey has arrested 50 alleged members of the Islamic State group on Saturday, who were suspected of planning an attack on people celebrating Turkey's national holiday.

More than 50 alleged members of the Islamic State group were arrested by Turkish security forces on Saturday, some of whom were suspected of planning an attack on Turkey's national holiday on Sunday, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Forty nine of the suspects were detained in the capital Ankara, a day before celebrations were due to be held across the country for the 94th anniversary of Republic Day.

Another four people were arrested in Istanbul's commercial district, suspected of preparing an attack in the name of Islamic State group, the Anadolu agency reported.

A homemade bomb was found in their car, according to the Dogan news agency, which reported that one of the suspects was injured during the raid.

Anadolu reported that Turkish authorities issued warrants for 55 suspected foreign IS members but did not provide further details.

Turkey has been hit by several bloody attacks blamed on IS militants over the past two years, including a mass shooting during the last New Year's Day celebrations at an elite Istanbul nightclub. An IS gunman killed 39 people during the attack.

The country's interior ministry said in July that there had been 14 major terrorist attacks conducted by IS in Turkey, including 10 suicide bombings, one bomb attack, and three armed attacks.

A total of 304 people were killed in these attacks, including ten police officers and one soldier.

There has been a lull in attacks since, but tensions remain high and Turkish police launch raids almost daily against suspected IS cells across the country.

In September, Turkish police detained 74 suspects who were alleged members of IS. At the same time, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that at least 3,000 IS militants were killed by Turkish forces in northern Syria.

Turkey has also deported at least 5,000 terror suspects and banned another 53,000 people from entering the country.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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