ISIL member blows himself up during Turkish police raid

Suspect linked to several bomb attacks detonated explosives during a police operation in Gaziantep on the Syrian border.

Gaziantep explosion
The dead suspect is believed to be Yunus Durmaz, the alleged 'emir' of ISIL in Gaziantep [IHA via AP]

A suspected high-ranking member of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant blew himself up during a police raid in the Turkish city of Gaziantep.

Another suspect, believed to be the suicide bomber’s brother, was taken alive during the raid on Thursday night at an apartment in the central district of Sehitkamil, Ali Yerlikaya, governor of Gaziantep, told Turkey’s Anadolu Agency.

“We went to the location soon after we heard it happened last night,” said Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker, reporting from Gaziantep.”Witnesses said they heard an explosion.”

Yerlikaya said the suspect died after deliberately setting off explosives he was wearing. “No citizens or security forces were hurt in the incident,” he added.

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The bomber may have been an “emir” of ISIL, also known as ISIS, in Gaziantep named Yunus Durmaz, the governor told the news agency.

Durmaz has been linked to the Suruc and Ankara bombings that killed a total of 134 people last year. Turkish media reported that Durmaz planned both bombings and was in close contact with ISIL suicide attackers.

He has also been accused of involvement in the suicide car bombing that killed a police officer in Gaziantep two weeks ago. “The name of the suspect that we have in custody is Haci Ali Durmaz,” the governor said.

“In the house that was raided there also was a woman and a child. During their interrogation, both the suspect and the woman said the man who set off explosives was Yunus Durmaz,” Yerlikaya said.

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“The officials are not confirming his identity yet,” reported Dekker. “They are saying they are carrying DNA tests on his body.” 

Durmaz and his brother Haci Ali Durmaz had been wanted by Turkish authorities for months.

In April, the General Directorate of Security Affairs sent out a warning about the Durmaz brothers to police departments in 81 Turkish cities, stating they may be planning new bomb attacks on civilians.

 Turkey blames ISIL for suicide attack in Gaziantep

Source: Al Jazeera