GAZIANTEP, TURKEY: A suicide bomber killed three police officers and wounded at least nine people in the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep on Sunday during a police raid on a suspected Islamic State safehouse, a local official and security sources said.
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The bomber detonated explosives as police raided the house in the Besyuzevler neighborhood of the city, some 40 km (25 miles) from the Syrian border, Abdullah Nejat Kocer, a local member of parliament from the ruling AK Party, told reporters.
A second suicide bomber detonated explosives during another police raid related to the same investigation at an apartment in the city's Gazikent suburb, but no other people were killed, a police official at the scene said.
That blast blew the front wall out of the building, according to a Reuters witness.
Kocer said three police officers were killed in the Besyuzevler blast.
Six of the wounded were also police, two of them left in a critical condition in hospital.
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The three other people wounded were Syrian nationals, Kocer told reporters.
Security sources said police had pursued a vehicle believed to be carrying explosives to the house, where a group of Syrian nationals were thought to be sheltering, before raiding it.
Turkey has seen a spate of suicide bombings by militants suspected of links to Islamic State. A suicide bomb killed more than 50 people, many of them children, at a Kurdish wedding in Gaziantep in August.
Turkey launched an incursion into Syria in August in support of Syrian rebels to try to push Islamic State from its border.
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The rebels said on Sunday they had captured the village of Dabiq from the extremist group, a stronghold where it had promised to fight a final, apocalyptic battle with the West.
Turkish security forces have repeatedly raided houses in Istanbul, Gaziantep and other cities in a crackdown on suspected extremists linked to Islamic State.
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