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Another explosion in Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul, that injured four people is being blamed on the Islamic State (ISIS).
A Turkish police officer said a homemade explosive device filled with shrapnel exploded under an overpass on one of Istanbul’s busiest highways, injuring four people. While the perpetrators are still on the run, sources point to the Islamic State, which has already claimed many such attacks in Turkey.
The same day, Turkish authorities sent out a warning to all police and security departments for all the subdivisions in the country’s 81 provinces that there may be further attacks from the Islamic State militants in the days to come.
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According to the warning, which was revealed by Turkish daily Haberturk, Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization raised the possibility of a forthcoming ISIS attack in Ankara during Youth and Sports Day festivities, which are scheduled for May 19.
The warning went on to say that 10 ISIS militants had crossed into Turkey through the southeastern province of Gaziantep, and are now planning 10 additional attacks in metropolitan areas, especially in the capital Ankara.
This latest attack is the latest in a string of 2016 attacks in Turkey—most of which were claimed by the Islamic State or the PKK-affiliated Turkey’s Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK). Turkey continues to fight many security threats emanating from the bloody conflict in neighboring Syria, as well as the renewed fighting against Kurdish militants.
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In March, a bomb exploded in Istanbul’s touristic area, Istiklal Avenue, killing five, including three Israelis and one Iranian national. A separate attack by the jihadist group in the city’s historic Sultan Ahmet Square in January killed at least 12 foreign nationals after a suicide bomber blew himself up near the Obelisk of Theodosius.
As Oilprice.com reported in March, the internal unrest in southeastern Turkey that has continued to intensify since last June’s general elections, is a major threat to Turkey’s energy security as the government struggles to secure its borders with both Syria and Iraq.
Stricter security measures are now being prepared specifically for celebrations on May 19, with a focus on strategic buildings, the US Embassy, military bases, checkpoints and police units.
By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com