Turkey detains 23 ISIS suspects and 21 children on Syria border: army

Displaced people warm themselves around a fire as they wait in the Syrian village of Akda to cross into Turkey.
Displaced people warm themselves around a fire as they wait in the Syrian village of Akda to cross into Turkey. PHOTO: REUTERS

ANKARA (AFP) - Turkish forces have detained 23 suspected Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) jihadists along with 21 children who were trying to illegally cross over from Syria, the army said on Sunday.

The suspects, whose nationalities were not disclosed, were captured on Saturday as they tried to enter the Elbeyli district of Turkey's southern Kilis province.

"Twenty-three people suspected of being Daesh (ISIS) terror group members, together with 21 children, were caught," said the army in a statement, without giving any other details.

Turkey has over the last year been told by its Western allies to urgently step up efforts to stop the flow of jihadists across its borders to and from Syria.

After a string of deadly attacks inside Turkey blamed on ISIS in the last months, Ankara has intensified efforts to improve border security, with the army reporting the capture of ISIS militants almost daily.

The army reported on Saturday that it had on Friday also captured six ISIS suspects, along with eight children, who were trying to cross illegally from Syria to Turkey in the same area.