ANKARA – Turkish forces have detained 23 suspected Islamic State jihadis along with 21 children who were trying to illegally cross over from Syria, the army said Sunday.
The suspects, whose nationalities were not disclosed, were captured on Saturday as they tried enter the Elbeyli district of Turkey’s southern Kilis province.
“Twenty-three people suspected of being Daesh (Islamic State) 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 jihadis across its borders to and from Syria.
After a string of deadly attacks inside Turkey blamed on Islamic State in the last months, Ankara has intensified efforts to improve border security, with the army reporting the capture of Islamic State militants almost daily.
The army reported on Saturday that it had on Friday also captured six Islamic State suspects, along with eight children, who were trying to cross illegally from Syria to Turkey in the same area.