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Turkey detains dozens of Islamic State suspects in pre-New Year sweep

Suspects from Iraq, Syria and Morocco were detained [Getty]

Date of publication: 30 December, 2019

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Dozens were killed during New Year celebrations in 2017 in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group.
Police in Turkey detained dozens of people suspected of links to the Islamic State group, the state-run news agency reported on Monday, in an apparent sweep against the extremist 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, Anadolu reported.

Police conducted simultaneous, pre-dawn raids in the city of Batman, in southeast Turkey, where 22 suspects were detained. Raids were also conducted in the cities of Adana and Kayseri where 15 people, including six foreign nationals were detained.

According to Anadolu, the IS suspects apprehended in the Turkish capital 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 IS and Kurdish militants that killed more than 300 people.

Among them was a devastating attack at an Istanbul nightclub during New Year celebrations in the early hours of 2017.

IS claimed responsibility the attack, which killed 39 people, most of them foreigners.

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