Turkey claims to have killed 200 Daesh militants in two days
Turkish police stand guard on January 14, 2016 near the site of the January 12 deadly attack in the Istanbul's tourist hub of Sultanahmet. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)
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Turkey's military has fired approximately 500 artillery shells at Islamic State [Daesh] positions in Iraq and Syria, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Thursday, claiming some 200 militants were killed in the past two days.
But a monitoring group and activists had no information on either massive Turkish strikes in recent days or the deaths. Islamic State's news agency al-Amaq reported 10 shells from Turkey hit a village it controls near Aleppo.
Davutoglu was speaking in the capital Ankara two days after a suicide bomber killed 10 German tourists in the historic Sultanahmet area of Istanbul.
Interior Minister Efkan Ala said seven people have been arrested in connection with the attack. Police have also carried out numerous raids against Islamic State cells in various parts of the country.
Authorities are holding the extremist group responsible for the bombing which took place near the iconic Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.
Islamic State, which normally claims its international attacks, has never taken responsibility for attacks in Turkey. Last year the group's alleged attacks killed more than 140 people in the country.
There is increased security in tourist areas of Istanbul, with the government deciding to boost police presence after the Sultanahmet attack.
By Shabtai Gold
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