ISIL suspect blows himself up during police raid in Turkey’s southeast
GAZIANTEPA suspected militant from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) blew himself up during a police raid in the southeastern province of Gaziantep on May 19, a Turkish official has said.
Gaziantep Gov. Ali Yerlikaya told the state-run Anadolu Agency that another suspect was taken alive late May 19 during the counter-terrorism operation.
“No citizens or security forces were hurt in the incident,” Yerlikaya added.
Yerlikaya provided no details on the identity or nationality of the ISIL suspects.
Turkey, which is part of the U.S.-led coalition against ISIL, has witnessed a series of suicide bombings linked to ISIL in recent months.
May 19 was a national holiday in Turkey and police had issued a warning over possible ISIL attacks.
Also on May 19, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg assured Turkey of ongoing support in the fight against ISIL.
Addressing a press conference in Brussels before a meeting of NATO foreign ministers on security challenges in Afghanistan, the Middle East, North Africa and Russia, Stoltenberg vowed that NATO would continue to “stand in solidarity with Turkey.”
“We have increased our presence and continue to implement our assurances given to Turkey,” he said, referring to the delicate situation in the southeastern province of Kilis, which has been subjected to deadly shelling in recent month by ISIL from across the border in Syria.