Home > News > World
Wednesday March 26, 2014 MYT 7:43:05 PM
Wednesday March 26, 2014 MYT 7:44:44 PM
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish special forces raided buildings in Istanbul used by suspected members of an Islamist militant group active in neighbouring Syria and Iraq late on Tuesday, leaving three policemen and two suspects wounded, police said.
The five - including a man and a woman thought to belong to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) - were hit after people in the buildings opened fire on security forces, police added.
ISIL is among fragmented Islamist groups fighting against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in a three-year conflict. It has also battled Iraq's government in that country's western Anbar province.
Ankara has repeatedly denied it is arming rebels inside Syria, but its highly publicised opposition to Assad has raised fears that Turkey may become a safe haven for Islamist militants battling against Damascus.
If ISIL's involvement is confirmed, it would be the first clash with the group inside a Turkish city.
The raid in Istanbul's residential Umraniye neighbourhood came a week after two members of the security forces were killed in the southern Turkish province of Nigde when suspected members of ISIL opened fire from a truck, and just days before Turkey holds high stakes municipal polls.
Hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled into Turkey along its 900 km frontier with Syria during the brutal three year conflict, and cross border fire has occasionally led to civilian deaths in Turkish territory.
Turkish armed forces shot down a Syrian plane on Sunday that Ankara said had violated its air space.
(This corrected version of the story changes date of raid to Tuesday in paragraph one)
(Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Jonny Hogg and Andrew Heavens)
Egypt postpones verdict in retrial of Al Jazeera journalists to Aug. 29
Germany's Merkel has chance of absolute majority, poll shows
Learn a lesson – turn poachers into gamekeepers
Venezuela supermarket looting leaves one dead, dozens detained
Canada PM set to call Oct 19 election, focus on sluggish economy
Analysis - Germans fret over Europe's future but still believe
New specialist hospital coming up to meet demand
Startups in spotlight at new Hong Kong tech meet
A look at the Indian Muslim community in inner city
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Media Group Berhad (ROC 10894D)(Formerly known as Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad)