7 killed in shootout between Turkish police and ISIS suspects

2015-10-26 11:19
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Diyarbakir - Five suspected Islamic State militants and two Turkish police officers were killed on Monday in a shootout in Diyarbakir, the main city in the Kurdish-majority southeast, security sources said.

Tensions are running high in Turkey just six days ahead of elections following the country's worst ever bomb attack this month and a resurgence of the Kurdish conflict.

The gun battle is the first with the jihadis on Turkish soil and follows the launch of Turkish air strikes on ISIS targets in neighbouring Syria in July.

Police had launched dawn raids on several houses in a district of Diyarbakir where jihadists were thought to be hiding out when the militants opened fire, one source said.

The police officers were killed after booby traps planted around one of the houses exploded, according to the Anatolia news agency.

Suicide bombings

Another four officers were injured.

Heavy shooting was still going on mid-morning, an AFP journalist at the scene said, with police fearing other jihadists could be holed up in the area.

The authorities have declared the Islamic State group the number one suspect over the October 10 suicide bombings on a pro-Kurdish rally in Ankara that killed 102 people in the deadliest attack in the history of modern Turkey.

A massive police hunt was under way over the weekend for a suspected ISIS cell that included a German woman allegedly plotting to carry out other attacks, Turkish media reported.

Anatolia said on Saturday that security forces feared the four were preparing a major attack "such as hijacking a plane or a vessel or detonating suicide bombs in a crowded location".

Police have been rounding up many suspected jihadists in the past two weeks, with four accused of taking part in the Ankara attacks.

Read more on:    isis  |  turkey  |  syria

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