Turkish forces kill suspected suicide bomber
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Turkish forces kill suspected suicide bomber

Alleged IS activist, seen visiting sites of upcoming public events, shot dead after failing to surrender

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

People shout slogans and hold up poster pictures of victims killed in the October 10, 2015 blasts in Ankara as they mark the first year anniversary of the attacks during a demonstration on October 9, 2016 in Istanbul's Kadikoy district. (AFP Photo/Ozan Kose)
People shout slogans and hold up poster pictures of victims killed in the October 10, 2015 blasts in Ankara as they mark the first year anniversary of the attacks during a demonstration on October 9, 2016 in Istanbul's Kadikoy district. (AFP Photo/Ozan Kose)

Turkish security forces on Wednesday shot dead a suspected Islamic State activist whom they suspected was planning a suicide bombing in the capital, Ankara, the state-run Anadolu agency reported.

The report said the man, identified only as Ahmet B., 24, from Diyarbakir province in southeast Turkey, was shot when he failed to respond to demands he surrender during a raid on his home.

Ankara Province Governor Ercan Topaca was quoted as saying the suspect had intended to carry out a suicide attack, and had been seen visiting two sites due to host events for Republic Day on October 29 and the anniversary of the death of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, on November 10.

Intelligence services reportedly tracked the man to an area of public housing in Ankara. A large haul of explosives was found there, including gelignite, TNT and some seven kilograms (15 pounds) of ammonium nitrate, often used in homemade bombs, an unnamed security official told the agency.

On Monday, Ankara’s governor banned public gatherings in the province until November 30, except for during Republic Day and the commemoration of Ataturk’s death, after receiving information that militants were planning attacks.

People wave Turkish flags and portraits of modern Turkey's founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, during a rally organized by the main opposition group, the Republican People's Party (CHO), on July 24, 2016 in Istanbul's Taksim Square. (AFP/Gurcan Ozturk)
People wave Turkish flags and portraits of modern Turkey’s founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, during a rally organized by the main opposition group, the Republican People’s Party (CHO), on July 24, 2016 in Istanbul’s Taksim Square. (AFP/Gurcan Ozturk)

Turkish-backed forces are fighting the Islamic State close to the Turkish-Syrian border and are taking part in attempts to push IS jihadists out of the Iraqi city of Mosul. They are also in an ongoing war against Kurdish separatists.

Ankara is one of five provinces for which terror warnings were issued recently by Turkey’s intelligence agency.

Terror attacks combined with a failed coup in July to prompt massive security crackdowns throughout the country.

Earlier this month, two suspected Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) members believed to be planning a car bomb attack blew themselves up after being confronted by police in Ankara.

Police forensic officers work at the scene of a suicide bombing in Haymana, in the outskirts of the capital Ankara, on October 8, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN)
Police forensic officers work at the scene of a suicide bombing in Haymana, in the outskirts of the capital Ankara, on October 8, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN)

In February, at least 30 people died and 60 were hurt in the city when a suicide car bomb exploded, killing mainly soldiers and civilian employees of the military as the army buses in which they were traveling stopped at a traffic light.

In March, 37 people were killed and more than 120 wounded when a suicide car bomb ripped through a busy square in central Ankara.

Just over a year ago, on October 12, 2015, a double suicide bombing attack on a peace rally of leftist, labor and Kurdish activists in Ankara killed 97.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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