Wednesday 21 August 2019

Turkey detains 20 IS suspects ahead of G20 summit

The arrests happened as Turkey prepares to host G20 leaders in Antalya
The arrests happened as Turkey prepares to host G20 leaders in Antalya

Turkish police have detained some 20 people suspected of links to Islamic State (IS) ahead of a G20 summit near the Mediterranean coastal city of Antalya.

The suspects, including two Russian nationals, were detained in simultaneous in raids in and around Antalya, which will be hosting G20 leaders later this month, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Massive suicide bombings in the Syrian border town of Suruc and in the capital Ankara - blamed on a local cell of IS - have killed some 130 people since July.

Police have carried out several raids across Turkey in the past weeks, detaining dozens of people linked to IS as well as stepping up efforts to prevent suspected militants from crossing in and out of neighbouring Syria.

Last month, Turkey claimed it struck a major blow to an IS cell in a raid in the south-eastern city of Diyarbakir, in which seven militants were killed.

On Thursday, authorities detained 40 Moroccans and one Syrian who flew in to Istanbul's main airport from Casablanca, over suspicion that they aimed to use the Turkish territory to cross into Syria to join IS.

Half of them were deported, while the others were still being questioned.

Turkey says it has banned 20,000 suspected foreign fighters from entering the country and deported more than 2,000 foreign militants.

PA Media

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