Two suspected Islamic State militants killed in Turkey: media

Turkish Special Force Police in Ankara (AA).

Two suspected Islamic State militants were killed by police in a raid on an apartment in Turkey’s capital Ankara on Sunday morning, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The two males, in their mid-to-late twenties, were planning an attack and engaged in a gunfight with police during the raid, Governor Ercan Topaca told Anadolu.

The raid was launched after a tip-off from a third suspect detained in Istanbul who had driven the other two to Ankara.

Hand grenades and other explosives were found in the apartment, according to police sources.

Turkish authorities have been criticised and accused of turning a blind-eye to and supporting Islamist extremism, especially after the start of the Syria war, in which it has supported groups fighting the Bashar al-Assad government.

Commentators have noted that police operations against hardline Islamist groups in Turkey increased following the fall of Aleppo in December 2016, after which Ankara stepped up its rapprochement with Russia.

Turkey still backs Islamist Salafist factions within the Syrian rebel groups in the Free Syrian Army (FSA), including Ahrar al-Sham.

Thousands of jihadists have travelled through Turkey and crossed the border into Syria since 2011, with thousands returning to live in the country after having fought there.

The Islamic State group has carried out several high profile attacks in Turkey, targeting Kurdish and pro-Kurdish events and circles as well as tourists.