May 2, 2016 / 4:41 PM / 2 years ago

Turkey says prevented 85 security 'incidents' since January

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey has prevented 85 “major incidents” since January, many involving live bombs, the government’s spokesman said on Monday, a day after the sixth suicide bombing in a Turkish city this year.

Police officers secure the area after an explosion in front of the city's police headquarters in Gaziantep, Turkey May 1, 2016. Ihlas News Agency via REUTERS

“We are making great efforts in the struggle against terror,” Numan Kurtulmus told reporters at a briefing in the capital, Ankara.

“We have prevented 85 major incidents since January. Forty-nine of those included live bombs.”

Turkey has been hit by a series of suicide bombings this year, including two in its largest city Istanbul blamed on Islamic State, and two in the capital Ankara which were claimed by a Kurdish militant group. It has also faced attacks from far leftist groups, mostly on police and security forces.

On Sunday, two police officers were killed and 22 people wounded by a suicide car bomb in the southeastern city of Gaziantep.

Last week, a suicide bomber blew herself up near the main mosque in the northwestern city of Bursa, injuring eight people. The Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group, has since claimed responsibility for the attack.

Reporting by Ercan Gurses; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Andrew Roche

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