UPDATE 2 – Turkish police disarm gunman in Izmir

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Nine more held in anti-terror probe launched after police find suspected PKK member carrying gun and explosives near shopping center

ADDS DETAIL ON DETENTIONS

IZMIR, Turkey – Turkish police disarmed a man — suspected of being a member  of Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, terrorist group — carrying 14 kilograms of explosives and a firearm near a shopping center in the western city of Izmir.

A police team performing a routine road check early Thursday morning in Izmir’s Gaziemir district, stopped the suspect and found the weapons in a bag he was carrying, security officials said.

They identified the suspect as G.S. and said that they had been following him since he arrived in Izmir five days ago to allegedly carry out a bomb attack.

Nine others have been detained in relation to the incident, officials said.

They added that G.S. is thought to have joined the terrorist group PKK in 2010 and received training in a camp in north Iraq. He had arrived in Turkey last week and was reportedly instructed to carry out the planned attack in Izmir.

Police took precautions against the possibility of the explosives being controlled by remote, closing the street to traffic and evacuating nearby citizens.

The suspect has been taken to the Anti-Terrorism Branch of Izmir Police Department and an investigation is ongoing. 

On Wednesday, Turkish police detained seven suspected Daesh members in an operation spanning Turkey.

Police found two guns, a Daesh flag and many organizational documents during the searches conducted in Izmir’s Buca and Menemen districts. Searches also took place in Isparta and Erzurum provinces.

Izmir anti-terror police said investigations into the suspects began after receiving information that some alleged Daesh members, who took part in fighting across the border in Syria, had returned to Turkey.

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