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Turkish Authorities Warn on Terror Plots Threatening Crowded Areas | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Ankara- Turkish authorities stepped up security measures to aid in thwarting any plot targeting crowded areas and gatherings, after the threat of terror attacks increased.

Gaziantep local authorities revealed that great ISIS terror activity has been detected. The southern Turkish city shares borders with war-torn Syria.

All social activity, gatherings or events have been put on hold until October for security reasons, local authorities announced in a statement on Tuesday.

Three police personnel were reportedly killed when ISIS-affiliated suicide bombers blew themselves up in Gaziantep earlier on Sunday, after police raided a sleeper cell, state media reported.

The state governor said three policemen had been killed in the blast while eight, four of whom are of Syrian origin, others were wounded.

The bombers detonated their explosives when they saw they were likely to be captured during a raid by Turkish security forces in the southeastern city, Anadolu news agency reported.

The raid came after Gaziantep police received information about a cell that was suspected of plotting a suicide bomb attack on an Alawites cultural association center in the city. Arriving the Güneykent neighborhood of Şahinbey and closing the entrances and exits to the area, police entered the cell house. After seeing the police, a militant inside the house reportedly detonated himself.

Gaziantep police on Sept. 17 detained a suspected ISIS militant who possessed pictures of a cemevi, a house of worship used by adherents of the Alawites sect, and was confirmed to be preparing a terror attack.

On Sept. 23 police had also taken extensive measures upon intelligence of a possible bomb attack by ISIS targeting Friday prayers.

Security measures were taken in all mosques across Gaziantep as police closed roads and put barricades around the central Ulu Camii. Worshippers were only able to enter the mosque after a body search.