A Daesh militant accused of an attempted assault on police and possession of explosives was sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in the southern city of Gaziantep Tuesday. Two other defendants in the same case were handed down prison terms of between two years and 25 years.
The two defendants were fleeing in a car when police closed in on them on Dec. 30, 2015. Abdülkadir Demirel, who was sentenced to life, tried to hurl a grenade at the police officers who had stopped them, prosecutors say in the indictment. Yusuf Cebael, who was accompanying Demirel while he was fleeing, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for membership of a terrorist group and possession of explosives. A.C., a defendant who was caught in a subsequent operation against the same Daesh cell Demirel and Cebael were allegedly members of, was handed down a prison term of two years and nine months as he was a minor at the time of the incident. Demirel, Cebael and A.C. were tracked down by police in a Daesh operation that came one month after Halil İbrahim Durgun, a member of the same cell, blew himself up when police raided his home. Durgun was accused of orchestrating a train station attack by Daesh in Ankara that killed 100 people on October 10, 2015.
Daesh has targeted Turkey in a string of attacks in the past few years, killing more than 300 people. Since 2014, the year when Daesh launched its first attack in Turkey, security forces have been involved in a long-running campaign to rid the country of Daesh terrorists.
In March, 10 defendants were sentenced to 58 instances of aggravated life imprisonment for a bombing in Gaziantep that killed 57 people on August 20, 2016. The bombing, which targeted a street wedding, was one of the deadliest attacks by the terrorist group.