AFP / Ahmad Al-Rubaye Tens of thousands of pro-regime forces have been massed near the Iraqi city of Fallujah ahead of the offensive to retake the city which was seized by Islamic State fighters in 2014
AFP / Ahmad Al-Rubaye Tens of thousands of pro-regime forces have been massed near the Iraqi city of Fallujah ahead of the offensive to retake the city which was seized by Islamic State fighters in 2014

Turkish police on Tuesday detained at least 11 suspected members of the Islamic State (IS) in simultaneous operations in several provinces across the country, local media reported.

The operations came after Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu announced that a senior member of the extremist group was arrested in the southern province of Adana, according to the Ihlas news agency.

The suspects were believed to have links to the senior member, who was later identified as Mahmut Ozden, Ihlas said.

“Daesh’s so-called Turkey emir was captured and remanded in custody with important plans,” Soylu had tweeted earlier in the day, using the Arabic acronym for the IS.

Speaking to reporters later, Soylu said Ozden received continuous orders from Syria and Iraq and was also asked to organize some protests in Turkey by creating groups of 10 to 12 people.

The minister said operations are continuing to catch other suspects.

Counter-terrorism units have recently intensified their raids against IS members in Turkey, and last week they arrested one suspect in Istanbul who was planning to carry out a sensational terror attack in the city.

The IS was blamed for a spate of deadly attacks over the years in Turkey, in which more than 300 people were killed.

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