Three killed in suicide attack in Gaziantep

Suspected ISIS suicide bomber blows himself up during an anti-terror raid in the Turkish city of Gaziantep.

Arutz Sheva North America Staff,

Aftermath of blast in Gaziantep
Aftermath of blast in Gaziantep
Reuters

A suspected Islamic State (ISIS) suicide bomber blew himself up during an anti-terror raid in the Turkish city of Gaziantep on Sunday, killing three police officers, officials said.

A few hours later, a second suicide bomber -- identified as the chief of ISIS group "bomb cells" in the city near the Syrian border -- detonated his explosives, killing himself but without causing any further fatalities, according to AFP.

The blasts took place shortly after Turkish-backed rebels captured the northern Syrian town of Dabiq from ISIS, dealing a major symbolic blow to the jihadists.

In the first attack in Gaziantep, the bomber set off his explosives to avoid being captured by Turkish police, local governor Ali Yerlikaya said in televised comments.

Turkish media had initially spoken of more than one attacker but the governor and the local prosecutor's office said the body of just one bomber was found at the scene.

The governor said five police and four Syrians were also injured.

Acting on a tip-off, special police used armored vehicles to block the road where the suspected jihadists were holed up in a house, the state-run news agency Anadolu reported.

Witnesses told private NTV television they heard sound of gunfire and clashes in the area, which is mostly populated by university students.

Video footage released by the private Dogan news agency showed several suspects with their hands tied behind their backs as they were taken to a police car.

Yerlikaya said the raid took place after Turkish authorities gathered intelligence about a possible suicide bomb attack by a suspected ISIS sleeper cell in Gaziantep against an Alevi cultural association.

Police confiscated computers and hard disks from the house.

A second suicide bomber blew himself up as police hunted for suspects who fled after the first blast, Yelikaya said.

He was identified as Mehmet Kadir Cabael, chief of the IS group's "bomb cells" in the Gaziantep region and who was believed to be supplying logistical support to the organization, according to the governor.

Yelikaya said the second bombing caused no further casualties, adding that the suspect's wife and children who were in the apartment building at the time did not suffer any injuries.

Gaziantep has come under attack by ISIS before: In August, an ISIS bomber targeted a wedding hall in the city, killing 51 people.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan later said the suicide bomber who carried out the attack was between 12 and 14 years old.

In September, the United States warned of the risk of a terror attack in Gaziantep on businesses frequented by Westerners, including the popular coffee chain Starbucks.

At the time, the U.S. embassy in Ankara warned its citizens that Turkish police were investigating a possible "terror cell" in Gaziantep.

Turkish authorities acknowledge that ISIS jihadists have built up a presence in the southeastern city with the aim of staging attacks, and Sunday's raid was part of a wider crackdown on sleeper cells across the country.

AFP contributed to this report.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Sukkot in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)




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