ISTANBUL – A Turkish official says 44 people suspected of planning terror attacks linked to Kurdish militants have been detained in police operations, including suspects in two separate Istanbul attacks last year.
Istanbul governor Vasip Sahin said Thursday one of the detainees is suspected of organizing a December attack near a football stadium, killing 46 people. The governor said the man left the bomb-laden vehicle at the last minute.
Another is allegedly the organizer of a car bomb attack on a bus carrying riot police last June that killed 11.
The outlawed Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party or PKK, had claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Sahin said the operations into the Kurdish militants' "special forces cell" in Istanbul and four other provinces saved the city from "serious and sensational attacks."