Twin bombings during Turkish raids leave five dead

Three Turkish security officers are dead after two suicide bombers from a suspected cell of the Islamic State extremist group blew themselves up during police raids in the south-eastern city of Gaziantep on Sunday, according to local media.

The first suspect killed himself and three security officers in a suicide bombing during a raid in the town's Sahinbey district, local media reported, citing provincial governor Ali Yerlikaya.

Eight people, including four Syrians, were injured in the incident. Police arrested 19 suspects and confiscated 15 kilograms of explosives and 9.5 kilograms of anti-tank mines.

A second suicide bomber later blew himself up in a raid on a house in the Burak district of city, DHA news agency reported.

The second bomber, believed to be the leader of the alleged Islamic State cell, was the sole victim, according to DHA. His wife and two children were taken into custody.

The raids followed a tip that an Islamic State cell using a house as a hideout was planning an attack on a cultural organization of the Alevi religious minority, Yerlikaya was quoted by the Anadolu news agency as saying.

Islamic State has been active in Turkey's south-east, claiming responsibility for an August attack in Gaziantep that left more than 50 dead at a wedding party.

The city is also in Kurdish territory, where Turkish forces are involved in a decades-old fight with the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which demands autonomy for Kurds in the region.

Also on Sunday in the south-eastern province of Hakkari, a soldier was killed by a suspected PKK explosive device, the Dogan news agency reported.

Last update: Sun, 16/10/2016 - 21:19

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