Turkey arrests 29 suspected Islamic State militants ahead of New Year's Eve

Turkey arrests 29 suspected Islamic State militants ahead of New Year's Eve
Turkey has detained 29 suspected IS militants as security measures are stepped up ahead of New Year's eve celebrations.
2 min read
29 December, 2017
New Year's celebrations have been cancelled this year [Getty]
Twenty-nine suspected Islamic State militants were detained on Friday by Turkish police, some of whom were allegedly preparing to carry out attacks during the New Year celebrations, reported the state-run agency.

Anadolu Agency reported some 500 police officers undertook simultaneous raids to detain the suspects, many of them foreign nationals. Police have warrants to detain 17 other suspects.

The report found that materials seized by police during the raid indicated that some of the suspects had staked out locations and made preparations for possible attacks on New Year’s Eve.

There was no immediate information on the foreigners' nationalities.

Turkey has suffered a series of terror attacks attributed to Kurdish militants and the Islamic State group, including the Reina massacre in which 39 people were killed.

New Year celebrations in Istanbul's iconic Taksim Square have been banned, Turkish authorities said earlier in the month due to security concerns.

Following a string attacks and a deadly New Year's Eve shooting at an elite nightclub last year, security measures have been doubled this year state media quoted Ismail Kilic, local police chief of Istanbul's Beyoglu district, as saying.

Of the 39 people killed in the Reina attack – which took place just 75 minutes into 2017 – 27 were foreigners, including citizens from Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iraq and Morocco.