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Total of 226 ISIS Militants ‘Neutralized’ in Latest Al-Bab Operations | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara April 29, 2014. REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY – Tags: POLITICS)

At least 226 ISIS ultra-hardline militants have been “neutralized” in latest operations around the northern Syrian town of al-Bab, the spokesman for Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday.

Turkey-backed Syrian rebels, supported by the Turkish military, have been laying siege to the town for weeks. Ibrahim Kalin made the comment at a news conference in Ankara that was broadcast live on television.

More so, Turkish authorities last week detained 1,682 people for questioning over suspected links to militant organizations and arrested 516 of them, the interior ministry said on Monday.

People suspected of links to the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara says orchestrated an attempted coup in July, made up the biggest number, with 1,096 detained and 426 of those arrested.

A total of 508 people were detained for links with Kurdish militants and 78 of those arrested, the ministry said. Authorities detained 78 people for links to Islamic State and arrested 12, it said.