World

Turkey detains 400 ISIS suspects in nationwide raids

ANKARA: Turkish police yesterday detained hundreds of suspected members of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), just over a month after an attack on an Istanbul nightclub claimed by the extremist organisation.

Around 400 suspects were detained in the biggest operation so far against ISIS after the New Year attack, the Dogan and Anadolu news agencies reported.

The operation saw 150 suspects detained in Sanliurfa in the south-east and 47 in the nearby city of Gaziantep close to the Syrian border, Dogan said.

Sixty suspects, mostly foreigners, were detained in four districts in the capital Ankara.

Dozens more arrests were made in provinces ranging from Bursa in the west to Bingol in the east.

In the usually peaceful city of Izmir, nine people suspected of travelling to and from Syria and planning attacks in the city were detained, Anadolu said.

Eighteen people were detained in Istanbul and the neighbouring province of Kocaeli on suspicion of planning attacks.

Another 14 foreigners, including 10 children, were due to be deported.

Thirty-nine people were killed on New Year's night when a gunman went on the rampage inside a posh Istanbul nightclub.

FIRST CLAIM

ISIS claimed the massacre, its first clear claim for a major attack in Turkey, although it had been blamed for several bombings last year.

Police detained the suspected attacker, Abdulgadir Masharipov, an Uzbek national, on Jan 16 and authorities say he has confessed to the massacre.

The Hurriyet daily reported after the attack that ISIS also planned a simultaneous New Year's strike in Ankara but dropped the plot after arrests by the Turkish authorities. 
- AFP

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