Turkey arrests 3 ISIS suspects over 'LGBT rally plot'

2016-06-22 16:03


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Istanbul – Turkish authorities have arrested three suspected Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists in a probe into a planned attack on a transgender rights rally last weekend, a report said on Wednesday.

The three, comprising one Turkish national and two men from Russia's volatile Caucasus region of Dagestan, were detained in raids on Friday and remanded in custody by a court on Tuesday, the Dogan news agency said.

Items including suicide belts packed with explosives, camouflage gear and military knives were seized by the authorities, it added.

The three had been planning to attack a rally around Istanbul's Taksim Square promoting transgender rights.

The gathering took place on Sunday but was broken up by police, Dogan said.

It said the raids had been conducted in the Istanbul districts of Basaksehir and Pendik after police acted on a tip-off.

The Istanbul authorities had broken up the transgender rally after banning that event as well as a larger gay pride rally planned for the coming on Sunday.

It had cited security reasons and safeguarding public order as the reason for the ban.

Istanbul has twice been hit this year by deadly attacks blamed on ISIS.

A blast in Istanbul's historic centre in January killed a dozen German tourists while an attack on the Istiklal Street shopping hub in March killed three Israelis and and Iranian.

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