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Turkish police detain dozens in raids after suicide attack in Ankara

Days after the Ankara suicide bomb attack, police arrested at least 67 people across Turkey allegedly linked to Kurdish militants.

Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya informed police had conducted raids in 16 Turkish provinces, detaining 55 people suspected of being intelligence agents for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Yerlikaya wrote in X, formerly Twitter, about the detention of 12 other alleged PKK members during a separate operation in five provinces.

The PKK has been leading an insurgency in Turkey for decades. The outlawed party is considered a terrorist organisation by the United States and the European Union.  It is blamed for the deaths of tens of thousands of people since the conflict began in 1984.

On Sunday, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device outside the interior ministry hours before President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s address to the Turkish parliament. The second potential suicide bomber was killed in a shootout with police.

Two police officers were slightly injured in the attack. Officials reported the suspects had arrived at the scene in a car seized from a veterinarian shot dead in the central Turkish city of Kayseri.

The PKK claimed responsibility for the attack, according to a news website close to the group.

Hours later, the Turkish Air Force launched a retaliatory aerial strike on suspected PKK positions in northern Iraq, where the group’s leadership is based. The defence ministry reported the strikes had “neutralised” many PKK militants.

Yerlikaya did not specify whether the people detained on Tuesday were suspected of direct involvement in Sunday’s attack.

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