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Turkey: Focus on Crushing Kurd Extremists Complicates ISIS Efforts


Deniz Toprak/EPA // Turkish soldiers patrol the Syrian border near Kilis, south-east Turkey, last week.Anne Barnard (The New York Times) —  In the days after reaching an agreement with the United States to combat mayhem in Syria and Iraq, Turkey said it had vaulted itself into the battle against extremists menacing Turkish security.

But the extremists the Turks have in mind are not just members of the Islamic State. Instead, as has become increasingly clear this week, Turkey is at least as focused on crushing the Kurdish militants it has struggled to contain for many years.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey increased tensions with Kurdish militants on Tuesday, telling reporters it was impossible to continue a two-year-old peace process with them.

Syria: Turkish Jets Strike Islamic State Targets


Selcan Hacaoglu/AP Photo/File // A Turkish F-16 prepares to taxi while another one takes off during at 3rd Main Jet Air Base near the central Anatolian city of Konya, Turkey.The Associated Press — In a major tactical shift, Turkish warplanes struck Islamic State group targets across the border in Syria on Friday, a day after IS militants fired at a Turkish military outpost. A Syrian rights group said the airstrikes killed nine IS fighters.

Turkey, which straddles Europe and Asia and borders the Middle East, had long been reluctant to join the U.S.-led coalition against the extremist group.

In a related, long-awaited development, Turkey said it has agreed to allow U.S.-led coalition forces to base manned and unmanned aircraft at its air bases for operations targeting the IS group. A Turkish Foreign Ministry statement said Turkey's military would also take part in the operations.

Cameroon: Female Suicide Bomber Kills 19 at Crowded Bar


AFP Photo // Security operatives take the dead bodies from the scene of suicide bombing in Maroua, Cameroon.Reuters — At least 19 people were killed in a suicide bombing in the northern Cameroonian town of Maroua on Saturday, a local military commander said, just three days after twin bombings there suspected to have been carried out by Boko Haram.

Residents said the female bomber struck at a bar in the Pont Vert neighbourhood, close to a bridge crossing a river that runs next to the town, at around 7.50pm local time (1850 GMT).

In the wake of the explosion, which was heard across the capital of Cameroon's North Region, military and emergency services poured over the scene in search of survivors. A senior military officer in Maroua told Reuters at least 19 people had been killed and 62 injured in the attack.

Turkey: Suicide Bomber Kills 32 at Cultural Center


TRT World // Sanliurfa Governor Izzettin Kucuk confirmed that the explosion was caused by a suicide bomber.Ceylan Yeginsu (The New York Times) — The suicide bomber who killed at least 32 people at a cultural center in southeastern Turkey has been identified as a Turkish citizen who is believed to have had ties to the Islamic State, a senior government official said Wednesday.

The bomber, Seyh Abdurrahman Alagoz, a 20-year-old university student who had recently returned from Syria, was identified through DNA testing, according to reports in the Turkish news media.

“The investigation is ongoing, but we have evidence that the suspect was linked to Daesh,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity in line with government protocol and using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State, which is also known as ISIS or ISIL.

Afghanistan: 6 Police Killed in Roadside Bomb Blast


Sgt. 1st Class Lawree Washingtonn/US Armed Forces/Wikimedia Commons // Members of Afghan Uniformed Police on patrol in Kunar province, Afghanistan.VOA News — Officials in western Afghanistan said a roadside bomb blast killed six policemen Saturday in Herat province as they were patrolling on the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

The death toll was confirmed by the provincial governor's spokesman Ehsanullah Hayat, according to the French news agency AFP. The French news agency reports three policemen were also wounded in the explosion.  

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the explosion, but the blast has all the earmarks of the Taliban militants who frequently use roadside bombs as their weapon of choice.

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