Turkey detains 5 ISIS suspects over planned attacks ahead of Sunday referendum: Report

A man places flowers at the entrance of Reina nightclub, which was attacked by a gunman, in Istanbul, Turkey on Jan 3, 2017.
A man places flowers at the entrance of Reina nightclub, which was attacked by a gunman, in Istanbul, Turkey on Jan 3, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Police in Istanbul have detained five Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) suspects, some of whom were believed to be planning an attack in Turkey ahead of Sunday's referendum, the state-run Anadolu news agency said on Friday (April 14).

Anadolu said three of the detained people were suspected of planning an attack in the name of ISIS. Two others, including one of Tajik origin, had travelled to "conflict zones"and carried out operations for the extremist group.

ISIS has been blamed for at least half a dozen attacks on civilian targets in Turkey in recent months, including a New Year's Day attack on Istanbul's Reina nightclub which killed 39 people.

Nato member Turkey is part of the US-led coalition against ISIS and launched an incursion into Syria in August to drive the extremist group and Kurdish militia fighters away from its borders.

Turks will vote on Sunday on changing the country's political system and giving President Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers. Two opinion polls on Thursday showed a narrow majority of voters would vote in favour of the changes.

Security efforts have been heightened ahead of the vote, but Kurdish militants on Wednesday claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on a police compound in southeast Turkey that killed three people.