15 Daesh-linked suspects arrested in Turkey

By Sahin Oktay

KOCAELI, Turkey (AA) – Security forces have arrested 15 suspects across the northwestern provinces of Istanbul and Kocaeli for alleged links to the Daesh terror group, a police source said Tuesday.

Counter-terrorism squads carried out simultaneous raids to apprehend suspects in several addresses in Istanbul and Kocaeli, just to its east, said the source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

During the raids police also confiscated a pump rifle and organizational documents, the source added.

To date, at least 319 people have lost their lives in Daesh terror attacks in Turkey, where the terror organization has targeted civilians in suicide bombings as well as rocket and gun attacks.

Security forces have pursued a long-running campaign to rid Turkey of Daesh terrorists.

The group's attacks include the October 2015 suicide bombings that killed 107 outside the train station in the capital Ankara and a suicide bombing in July which killed 32 in southeastern Suruc in the Sanliurfa province.

Other Daesh attacks include the 2017 New Year's Reina nightclub massacre in Istanbul that killed 39; the August 2016 child suicide bomber attack on a wedding in Gaziantep, killing 57; and a bomb-and-gun attack on Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport in June 2016 that killed 47.