Turkish 'shoot-out with IS' leaves police and suspects dead

Turkish police carry coffin of comrade killed in clash with suspected IS militants, 26 Oct 15 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Diyarbakir: Turkish police carry the coffin of a comrade killed fighting suspected IS militants on Monday

Two policemen and up to seven suspected Islamic State (IS) militants were killed in a shoot-out in south-east Turkey, security officials say.

Police were carrying out dawn raids on houses in the city of Diyarbakir where militants were thought to be hiding.

Turkey has stepped up operations against IS since the group was blamed for twin blasts that killed more than 100 people in Ankara this month.

The clashes in the mainly Kurdish city continued for several hours.

AFP news agency says this is the first clash with IS militants on Turkish soil since Turkey launched air strikes on IS targets in neighbouring Syria in July.

Militants reportedly opened fire on police during the Diyarbakir raid.

Two officers were killed after booby-traps around one of the houses exploded, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported. Another five officers were injured.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told reporters that seven militants were killed in the operation and 12 others detained.

Tensions are running high in Turkey just six days ahead of general elections.

The double bombing in Ankara this month - targeting a Kurdish peace rally - was the country's most deadly, and came amid an upsurge of fighting between Turkish forces and Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) rebels.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Ankara bombings were the worst in Turkey's recent history

The authorities suspect IS was behind the 10 October bombings in the capital.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the bombings were an attempt to influence the 1 November elections.

Many of the victims were activists of the pro-Kurdish HDP party, which believes its delegation at the march was specifically targeted.

Even before the bombings the ceasefire with the PKK had broken down. At least 150 have died in clashes since July.

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