Seven suspects accused of being "emirs" or high-ranking members of the terrorist group Daesh in Syria, were captured in operations in southeastern Turkey on Friday. Counterterrorism police using battering rams raided several houses in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa near the border with Syria to capture the suspects.
The nationalities of the suspects were not disclosed but security sources said they were active in Syria before sneaking into Turkey as the terrorist group lost ground in Turkey's war-torn neighbor. A search of the suspects' hideouts found digital evidence linking them to the group.
The terrorist group is blamed for a string of terror attacks in Turkey that have killed at least 319 people over the past three years in Istanbul and Ankara, as well as cities in the southeast. Turkey has taken significant measures against foreign Daesh members and has urged Western countries on intelligence cooperation.
According to official figures, at least 2,000 people have been arrested and 7,000 others deported in operations against Daesh in Turkey in the past few years, while around 70,000 people have been denied entry to Turkey over their suspected links to the terrorist group.
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