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Suspected IS suicide bomber killed in Turkey operation: report

Ankara (AFP): A suspected Islamic State suicide bomber was killed early Wednesday in a police raid on an apartment in the capital Ankara, state media reported.

Anti-terrorism police, following a tip-off the man was planning an attack, stormed his apartment building in the Etimesgut district on the city outskirts, news agency Anadolu reported.

The suspect, identified as 24-year-old Ahmet B. from southern Adana province, returned fire when police urged him to “surrender”, according to Anadolu.

Police seized explosives in the raid, it said.

Ankara governor Ercan Topaca said police had video evidence showing the suspect scouting the area around the mausoleum of Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, as well as the old parliament building.

“There is no doubt that the target was congregations of crowded people,” Topaca told the agency, adding that police believed the man to be an Islamic State group member.

“It could have been the mausoleum or the old parliament, it is not possible to say anything concrete based on the information available.”

The raid comes two days after the Ankara regional authorities banned all public gatherings and demonstrations through November after receiving information about potential terror attacks.

In a separate development, police raided several stores selling religious books in the Kurdish-majority southeastern city of Diyarbakir, a security source said on condition of anonymity.

At least 20 suspects were also detained during the anti-IS operation, the source told AFP.

Turkish authorities have widened their crackdown on IS jihadists who have built up a presence in several cities across the country.

On Sunday, a suspected IS suicide bomber blew himself up during an anti-terror operation in the province of Gaziantep near the Syrian border, killing three police officers.

The Gaziantep governor’s office said Tuesday it would also ban public gatherings and demonstrations until the end of the month.