Hayati Kılıç - Çağatay Kenarlı - Mehmet İlkay Özer -Erhan Tekten / İstanbul, Oct 29 () - Turkish police detained 15 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants in simultaneous raids in Istanbul on Oct. 29, in an escalation of anti-terror operations against ISIL following the twin suicide bomb blasts in Ankara earlier this month.
Counterterrorism police launched operations at 28 addresses against ISIL cells in Istanbul’s Bağcılar and Başakşehir districts on Oct. 29.
Special operations teams and riot police also took part in the helicopter-supported operation.
Some 15 ISIL militants were detained in the raids, while five automatic rifles, an air gun and 300 cell phones were seized.
After undergoing a medical examination at the Haseki Training and Research Hospital in the Aksaray neighborhood, the militants were brought to the anti-terror branch office at the central Vatan Avenue to be interrogated by police.
Turkish police stepped up operations against ISIL after two suicide bombers suspected to be linked to ISIL detonated themselves at a peace rally in Ankara on Oct. 10, killing 102 people including the two bombers.
The Ankara Prosecutor’s Office released a written statement on Oct. 28 saying ISIL was behind the Ankara blasts.
“It is understood that a terrorist organization in [the southeastern] Gaziantep province planned attacks inside Turkey after taking direct orders from Daesh in Syria,” it said, using the Arabic acronym for ISIL.