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Turkey detains more than 1,000 people in crackdown on suspected militants, PM says

Ozan Kose, AFP | Turkish plain clothes police officers escort suspected members of the Islamic State (IS) on July 24, 2015 in Istanbul

Turkey has detained 1,050 people in a crackdown on militant groups including the Islamic State (IS) group and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in recent days, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Monday.

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Davutoglu, who made the comments in an interview broadcast live on Turkey’s ATV television, added that 50 to 60 of those detained are foreign nationals.

Turkey’s crackdown on suspected militants, in which the ultra-leftist DHKP-C group is also being targeted, come after a week of deadly attacks on Turkish soldiers and police officers.

Turkey last week launched a two-pronged "anti-terror" cross-border offensive against IS group jihadists and PKK militants after a wave of violence in the country, pounding their positions with air strikes and artillery.

The renewed military campaign and the arrests targetting the PKK, which has waged a three-decade insurgency against the Turkish state partly from camps in northern Iraq, has raised suspicions that Turkey's real agenda is checking Kurdish territorial ambitions rather than fighting the IS group.

Ankara is concerned that the success in northern Syria of the Kurdish YPG militia, which has pushed back the IS group with the help of US-led air strikes, will stoke separatist sentiment among its own Kurds and embolden the PKK.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)

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