Turkish police shot dead a suspected ISIS militant overnight who was believed to be planning a suicide bomb attack in the capital Ankara, the city’s governor said Wednesday.
It was the latest in a series of counter-terrorist police operations coinciding with a Turkey-backed rebel operation in Syria to drive the extremists away from its southern border.
Turkish security forces have meanwhile stepped up action against Kurdish militants, killing 14 Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters in eastern Turkey in recent days, the interior minister said.
Police tracked ISIS suspect to the ninth floor of a building on Ankara’s outskirts, where he was killed in a gunfight around 3 a.m. after opening fire in response to a call to surrender, the state-run Anadolu Agency said.
“The terrorist is judged to have been planning to carry out a suicide bomb attack and carried out reconnaissance around the old parliament building and Anitkabir,” Governor Ercan Topaca wrote on Twitter, referring to the mausoleum of modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
The suspect may have been targeting ceremonies to be held there on the Oct. 29 anniversary of the Turkish Republic’s foundation or on Nov. 10 to commemorate Ataturk’s death, Anadolu cited Topaca as saying.
Police found explosive materials including sticks of dynamite and ammonium nitrate at the scene, the governor said.
The suspect was registered as resident of the southeastern city of Diyarbakir and was born in 1992, Anadolu said.