Turkish police raid Gaziantep safehouse | News | DW | 16.10.2016
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Turkish police raid Gaziantep safehouse

Suicide bombers have blown themselves up in Gaziantep near the Syrian border with possible fatalities reported. Initial reports suggest the explosion followed a police raid on a suspected "Islamic State" sleeper cell.

One or more suicide bombers blew themselves up during a Turkish police raid on Sunday against a suspected militant cell in the Sahinbey district of the city near the Syrian border, Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

The Reuters news agency, quoting unspecified hospital sources, reported at least three police officers were killed. It's unclear how many militants perished. 

Witnesses told the private television station "NTV" that they heard the sounds of gunfire and clashes in the area, mostly populated by university students. The private Dogan news agency says at least 10 people, including civilians and police, were wounded in the explosion with at least two in a serious condition.

"God bless our devoted security forces. The Daesh suicide bomber blew himself up, bless our police who killed this terrorist," tweeted Gaziantep Mayor Fatma Sahin.

The Anadolu agency said police were acting on a tip-off that the cell was plotting an attack on an Alawite cultural association in the city. The militants reportedly blew themselves up when they understood that they could not escape after security forces surrounded their hideout, the agency reported.

jar/kl (AFP, Reuters, AP)