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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Turkey arrests dozens in ISIL crackdown

Most of those detained were alleged foreign militants

A man walks through debris from the 2017 demolition of the Reina nightclub in Istanbul. Yasin Akgul / AFP
A man walks through debris from the 2017 demolition of the Reina nightclub in Istanbul. Yasin Akgul / AFP

Turkish police have detained 82 suspected ISIL members in raids across Istanbul, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

The arrests – all but five of them foreign nationals – were intended to prevent attacks in Turkey and to prevent people travelling to conflict zones in Turkey Syria, the agency said.

A lone attacker killed 39 people on January 1 last year when he opened fire on the upmarket Reina nightclub in the city. Nearly half of those killed were foreigners. ISIL claimed responsibility for that attack, one of several carried out in Turkey in recent years.

Saturday’s raids were carried out at 16 addresses across Istanbul with officials seizing digital material and documents, it said. Turkey has detained more than 5,000 ISIL suspects and deported several thousand militants in recent years.