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Iran Press TV

Turkish police bust 'Daesh cell' in capital Ankara

Iran Press TV

Wed Jan 13, 2016 5:56AM

Turkish security forces have arrested 16 suspected members of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group who had formed a cell to carry out a major terrorist attack in the capital, Ankara.

Police sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the group's ringleader, a Turkish national, was arrested during a raid on a cafe on Ankara's bustling and shop-lined Tunali Hilmi Street.

The rest, all of whom are Syrian citizens, were detained in separate operations across the Cubuk, Polatli, and Sincan neighborhoods of the capital.

The report came on the same day that a deadly terrorist attack was carried out in the Turkish city of Istanbul. Nabil Fadli, a 28-year-old Daesh militant of Syrian origin, who was born in Saudi Arabia in 1988, blew himself up after blending into a tourist group of 33 German citizens on a visit to the Obelisk of Theodosius in Sultanahmet Square of Istanbul.

At least 10 foreign nationals, most of them Germans, lost their lives while 15 other people, including twelve Germans, a Turk, a Peruvian and a Norwegian, were wounded in the attack.

Following the attack, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on the international community to demonstrate strong determination in the fight against terrorism.

"International terrorism has once again showed itself, with its horrible and inhuman face," Merkel told a news conference in Berlin.

"This attack also shows us the necessity to confront terrorism in a resolute way," she said, adding that German government is in close contact with Turkey.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier also warned all German citizens in Turkey to avoid crowds and tourist sites.

The reports come as Turkey has time and again been accused of aiding and abetting militant groups operating in Syria, with reports saying that Ankara actively trains and arms the Takfiri militants there, and facilitates their safe passage into the Arab country.

Turkish opposition media have accused Ankara of such support for the militants. In one instance, footage provided by Turkish opposition media implicated Turkish Intelligence Service (MIT) in ensuring safe passage into Syria for Daesh terrorists.

The presence of purported Daesh members in Turkey, which prompts the raids against them, seems to be a side-effect of Turkish support for the militants in Syria.

The conflict in Syria, which flared in March 2011, has claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people and left over one million injured, according to the United Nations. The world body says 12.2 million people, including more than 5.6 million children, remain in need of humanitarian assistance in Syria. The foreign-sponsored militancy has also displaced 7.6 million people.

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