Turkish police catch five ISIL suicide bombers near Syrian border: Governor’s office
Syrians carry their belongings as they walk to the Turkish Cilvegözü border gate located opposite of the Syrian crossing point of Bab al-Hawa in Reyhanlı, in the southern province of Hatay.Police have apprehended five suspected suicide bombers from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on Turkey’s border with Syria, the governor’s office of the southern province of Hatay stated on June 24.
“Five attackers who were sent to our country from Syria to carry out suicide bombings were caught in an operation on June 23 before they reached central Hatay,” the statement said of the operation, which was carried out jointly by police and intelligence units.
“Suicide belts were found wrapped around and ready to explode on two of the suspects, who were neutralized, and the explosives were seized,” the statement said, adding that the suspects were apprehended without any loss of life or property.
According to the governor’s office, three of those apprehended are of Syrian origin and two are Turkish.
The Hatay Governor’s Office said a wide-scale investigation had been launched into the incident.
While no information on the group that those caught belonged to was initially given, Hatay Governor Erdal Ata later in the day said their interrogation revealed that they were ISIL militants.
Saying the militants were caught after the police became suspicious of their Syrian-plated car near Altınözü, Ata noted that the jihadists planned to carry out “sensational attacks” in metropolises during Eid al-Fitr. In addition to metropolises, the suspects reportedly planned attacks in Hatay and nearby provinces.