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Would-be suicide bomber among 10 suspected IS members held in Turkey

AFP , Tuesday 22 Mar 2016
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Views: 993

Turkish security forces on Tuesday arrested 10 suspected Islamic State members at the Syrian border, one of whom was wearing an explosives vest, three days after a suicide attack in Istanbul, local media reported.

The suspects were arrested in southern Gaziantep province while trying to illegally cross into Turkey, Dogan agency cited the army as saying.

One of the group was wearing an explosive device that was ready to be detonated, according to Dogan, which published pictures of the suspects on their knees with their hands behind their heads, along with what appeared to be an explosives belt.

The arrests come as the police hunt three Turkish suspected members of an IS cell believed to be planning further attacks in public places after Saturday's attack in Istanbul, which killed four foreigners.

Three Israelis and an Iranian were killed and 39 people injured when a man identified by authorities as Mehmet Ozturk from Gaziantep blew himself on Istiklal Caddesi, a famous shopping street in the heart of Turkey's biggest city.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack but Turkey's government said Ozturk had links to IS.

IS has been blamed for four of six bombings that have rocked Turkey in the past eight months, including a massacre at a peace rally in the capital Ankara in October that left 103 people dead.

A radical offshoot of the rebel Kurisdtan Workers Party (PKK), with which the state is at war in southeast Turkey, claimed the other two attacks.

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