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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 June 2018

Turkey detains 13 ISIL militants suspected of plotting attack

Police detained the suspects on Wednesday in raids at homes

Turkey's special police officers prepare to storm a house during an operation to arrest ISIL suspects in the southern city of Adana, Turkey, early Wednesday, March 7, 2018. Gokhan Keskinci / AP
Turkey's special police officers prepare to storm a house during an operation to arrest ISIL suspects in the southern city of Adana, Turkey, early Wednesday, March 7, 2018. Gokhan Keskinci / AP

Turkish security forces arrested in the southern city of Adana 13 ISIL suspects, who were allegedly plotting attacks on a number of targets in the city, including the US consulate.

Police detained the suspects on Wednesday in raids at homes, reported the state-run Anadolu Agency. It added that 12 of the suspects were Syrian nationals.

The arrests come a day after Turkish authorities arrested in the Turkish Black Sea coastal city of Samsun four ISIL suspects, all of whom were Iraqi, in an investigation of a possible plot against the US embassy in Ankara – forcing the American facility to shut down on Monday.

Limited services were provided on Tuesday, but spokesman David Gainer said that the embassy “will be operating as normal” on Wednesday.

Earlier on Monday, police detained 12 ISIL suspects in Ankara and were searching for eight others, Anadolu reported, although it was not clear if these arrests were linked to the threat against the US embassy.

The Ankara chief prosecutor's office said in a statement that all of the suspects captured in the police operation were foreign nationals. They were allegedly trying to recruit members for ISIL and were in contact with people in "conflict zones".

In 2013, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive in front of the embassy, killing himself and a Turkish guard.

Turkey suffered a slew of deadly terror attacks in 2015 and 2016 carried out by ISIL or Kurdish rebels. An attack at a luxury Istanbul nightclub during New Year celebrations on January 1, 2017, killed 39 people.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Monday that ISIL extremists had carried out 20 attacks in Turkey, killing a total of 310 people and wounding 967 others.

Turkish authorities arrested a total of 4,043 ISIL militants between 2011 and 2018, Mr Bozdag added. Close to 2,000 of them were "foreign terrorist fighters," the minister said.