Turkey raises number of ISIL suspects detained in major sweep to 748

The security operation against people with alleged links to ISIL covered 29 Turkish cities.

Turkish anti-terrorism police stand by their armoured vehicle during an operation to arrest people over alleged links to ISIL, in Adiyaman, southeastern Turkey, on Sunday, February 5, 2017. Mahir Alan / Dha-Depo Photos via AP
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ANKARA // Turkey’s interior ministry has raised the number of suspects detained in a major sweep against ISIL group to 748.

Turkey on Sunday launched a security operation against people with alleged links to ISIL in 29 Turkish cities, including in Istanbul, Ankara and in the border cities of Gaziantep and Sanliurfa. More than 440 people were detained.

In a statement released on Monday, the ministry raised the number of suspects detained 748. It did not provide details.

Those detained on Sunday included foreigners and those suspected of planning attacks in Turkey, the Dogan and Anadolu news agencies reported.

Turkey has suffered dozens of deadly attacks linked to ISIL or Kurdish militants, and has been stepping up its anti-terrorism efforts.

ISIL claimed responsibility for a New Year’s mass shooting at an Istanbul nightclub that killed 39 people.

The suspected attacker, Uzbek national Abdulgadir Masharipov, was detained on January 16 after over two weeks on the run. Authorities say he has confessed to the massacre.

* Agencies