Shootout between Turkish police and IS suspects leaves 9 dead

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ANKARA: Seven suspected Islamic State jihadists and two Turkish policemen were killed in a gun battle in the Kurdish-majority Diyarbakir city in Turkey on Monday.

The shootout was the first on Turkish soil between security forces and the militants since Ankara launched air strikes on IS targets in Syria in July.

Police have been hunting down IS suspects following the suicide bombings that killed 102 people in Ankara on October 10.

They are also tracking a four-member IS cell feared to be plotting large-scale attacks as the country gears up for Sunday’s vote with security the paramount concern.

An anti-terrorist squad launched dawn raids on several houses in a district of Diyarbakir where militants were thought to be hiding out.

The suspects opened fire and set off booby traps planted around the houses, killing two police officers and injuring five, according to the Diyarbakir governor’s office.

It said in a statement that seven IS militants had been killed and 12 arrested.

“This was an important operation… we can say we have neutralised a major Daesh cell,” deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmus told reporters, using an Arabic name for the IS group.

“We are trying to determine any links with cells in other cities,” he added.

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