Five ISIL militants killed, 233 detained in ops across Turkey
KONYAFive Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants were killed in a raid on a cell house in the Central Anatolian province of Konya early on July 12, police have announced, adding that a total of 233 people were detained in anti-ISIL operations carried out in 29 provinces.
Authorities launched an operation against the jihadist group in Konya’s Meram district and raided 11 addresses in the area. Eight suspects were detained in the raids.
Clashes erupted between police officers and militants in an ISIL cell house on Dörttokka Street and reinforcements were sent to the area.
Five militants were killed in the clashes, while four police officers were slightly injured during the operation that lasted nearly 2.5 hours.
Authorities said the militants were planning to stage attacks on events marking the first year anniversary of the July 15, 2016, failed coup attempt, widely believed to have been masterminded by the followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, Doğan News Agency reported.
The wounded policemen were taken to Konya Training and Research Hospital and were discharged after their treatments. It was determined that a bullet had hit the helmet of one of the police officers.
Konya Governor Yakup Canbolat, Chief Public Prosecutor Bestami Tezcan and Provincial Police Chief Şükrü Yaman carried out searches in the house where the clashes erupted.
Yaman thanked the police officers for their efforts in the raid through a walkie-talkie.
“I’m wishing well to all of my friends who took part in the operation, congratulating them and kissing them on their foreheads. May God protect our state and nation from all sorts of evil,” Yaman said.
Bomb disposal teams also searched the area.
Police seized four kilograms of TNT, five Kalashnikov rifles, a pistol, several ammunitions and a suicide vest in the house. The house had two couches other than the weapons.
A resident of the neighborhood, Şenay Çelikten, said they woke up at around 5 a.m. to the sound of gunshots.
“The clashes continued for a long time. I didn’t know the people living in that house. It was rented out some 20 days ago. They weren’t a family. They were just coming and going with their backpacks,” Çelikten told state-run Anadolu Agency.
Moreover, the location of the cell house was announced to be on the routes of a police special force unit and an air defense school.
According to a written statement by Konya Governor’s Office, security measures were taken around the area.
The statement also said the house used as a jihadist cell was rented by a sought ISIL militant, identified only by the initials A.Y., and the operation early in the day was launched to apprehend him.
The efforts to identify the killed militants have been ongoing.
Furthermore, a militant who was killed in the garden of the house was reported to be on duty against possible police raids. Clashes erupted when he notified other militants about the raid.
Elsewhere, a total of 21 ISIL suspects were caught in simultaneous operations in the western province of İzmir and the southern province of Hatay.
Police previously launched efforts to apprehend suspected militants over their plans to stage attacks on foiled coup anniversary events in İzmir.
Detention warrants were issued for a total of 26 suspects and raids were carried out in İzmir’s Torbalı and Menemen districts as well as Hatay.
Police seized ISIL documents, a rifle, an unlicensed pistol, two blank cartridges and digital data from the houses of those detained.
The number of detainees in Hatay was announced as 22 and police said an ISIL militant, identified only as Ö.K., was caught while trying to cross the border from Syria in Hatay’s Yayladağı district.
According to a statement released by the Hatay Governor’s Office, a total of 29 addresses were raided as part of an operation against several jihadist groups, including ISIL and al-Nusra.
Another anti-ISIL operation was carried out in the Tarsus district of the southern province of Mersin where 10 people were detained.
An operation was launched under the coordination of a chief public prosecutor’s office by anti-terror police early on July 12.
Those detained were also planning to stage attacks on July 2016 coup attempt commemorations, according to Doğan News Agency.
ISIL-linked books and documents were seized in the suspects’ houses.
Later on July 12, a statement was released by police regarding ISIL operations across the country. According to the authorities, a total of 233 people were detained in operations carried out in 29 provinces.
The statement also said 25 foreigners were taken to the Directorate General of Migration Management.