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Turkey arrests 12 IS suspects

Turkey arrests 12 IS suspects
Riot police secure the entrance of the High Electoral Board as people wait in line to submit their personal appeals for annulment of the referendum, in Ankara, Turkey, April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Ankara: Turkey on Monday arrested at least 12 Islamic State (IS) suspects as a part of counter-terrorism raids across the country, according to a security source.

The detained suspects, who were foreigners, were found allegedly recruiting people to the dreaded terror group and were in contact with people in the conflict zones of Syria and Iraq.

The source added that the Turkish police were seeking the remaining eight suspects.

The detentions came as the US Embassy in Ankara was closed on Monday due to an “unspecified” security threat. In its website, it mentioned to avoid the embassy and “large crowds” at places that witnesses high footfall and said that the embassy would open soon, Anadolu news agency reported.

Turkey has been embroiled in a state of emergency since last year, as the dreaded terror organisation has repeatedly targeted civilians in suicide bombs, rocket and gun attacks.

The Turkish military are also involved in a military operation called ‘Olive Branch’, which was launched on January 20 to clear Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PYD/PKK) and IS terrorists from Afrin in northwestern Syria.

The main aim of the Turkish forces is to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders as well as to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.

The PKK, which is based in Turkey, Iraq and parts of Syria, has been involved in an armed conflict with Turkey for the past few years. Its aim is to achieve the objective of creating an independent Kurdish state.

It has been listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

The PKK is responsible for the deaths of more than 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians. (ANI)