Şanlıurfa - Mardin, Sep 14 () - Tons of explosive material has been seized near the Turkish-Syrian border in two days, with 17 suspected members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) detained in the border town of Kilis.
As much as 6.5 tons of plastic explosive material was seized after police officers in the southeastern border province of Şanlıurfa stopped and searched a long-haul truck full of onions in the Pekmezli neighborhood of Şanlıurfa’s Akçakale district on Sept. 9.
The plastic explosive material, identified as pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), was found hidden in onion piles on the truck driven by a man identified by the initials Y.K. The explosive material was reportedly handled by bomb experts and two suspects including Y.K. were detained over the incident.
In another incident in the southeastern province of Mardin on Sept. 10, 20 tons of ammonium nitrate, a common explosive used in making improvised explosive devices, was seized after gendarmerie forces searched a cottage on a road connecting Mardin to the southeastern province of Diyarbakır following intelligence they gathered said material used to make bombs was in a cottage on land owned by a private driving course.
The land owner, identified by the initials A.A., said they knew nothing about the 400 sacks of explosive material found inside the cottage. The gendarmerie command launched an investigation to determine who put the 20 tons of explosive material in the cottage.
Meanwhile, 17 suspected members of ISIL, including two Turkish citizens, were detained in the southeastern border district of Elbeyli in Kilis on Sept. 10, the Kilis Governor’s Office said in a written statement. The suspects had attempted to illegally cross into Syria, the statement said.
“A total of 17 ISIL members, 15 foreign nationals and two Turkish citizens, were detained after they attempted to illegally cross into Syria” it said.