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445 held in terror raids on militants

TURKISH police have detained hundreds of people in the biggest operation so far against Daesh militants.

Anti-terrorism officers arrested the 445 suspects — the vast majority of them foreigners — early yesterday, the state agency reported.

It came just over a month after a Daesh gunman killed 39 people in a new year’s eve terror attack at an Istanbul nightclub.

Sixty people were held in Ankara and the remainder in simultaneous pre-dawn police raids that spanned several cities, including Gaziantep, near the border with Syria, and Istanbul.

Nine suspects were allegedly preparing an attack on Izmir in the north-west, police said.

In Sanliurfa, in the south-east, security forces arrested 100 people and found materials relating to Daesh.

The Anadolu agency said ten children were among the foreigners held in Istanbul and adjacent Kocaeli province. Many were due to be deported, it added.

Police arrested the suspected nightclub gunman, Uzbek national Abdulgadir Masharipov, two weeks ago and say he has confessed to the massacre.