Turkey detains 457 Syria-bound 'foreign terror' suspects
Refugees wait at the Turkish border town of Gaziantep, considered by authorities to be a staging point for potential militants to enter into Syria. (AFP/File)
Almost half of the 457 people detained by Turkish authorities on the Turkish-Syrian border between January 1 and June 30 are Chinese nationals, Turkish Armed Forces sources told Anadolu Agency Wednesday.
Moreover, the suspects include citizens from at least 32 different countries, including one from as far away as Brazil. From the gulf region, nine suspects, all of them Saudis, were detained.
According to the sources, out of the 457 people detained, 241 are Chinese, 13 British, seven Afghans, five Germans, two Americans, one Australian, five Azerbaijanis, one Bangladeshi, five Belgians, one Brazilian, two Bulgarians, one Danish, one Moroccan, 12 French, 30 Palestinians, six South Koreans, five Dutch, one Kazakh, two Maldivian, one Egyptian, one Romanian, 56 Russians, two from Trinidad and Tobago island, one Slovakian, nine Saudis, six Tajiks, two Tunisians, 29 Turkmen, three Uzbeks, two Iranians, two Spanish and two Italians.
The suspects were detained at the Turkish border when they tried to enter Syria illegally and were being treated by authorities as suspected “foreign terrorist fighters", the sources added.
In a separate announcement made earlier on Wednesday, Turkish General Staff said that authorities stopped more than 400 people trying to illegally cross its borders within a recent 24-hour period.
Turkey shares a 900 kilometer long border with its neighbor and has received nearly two million refugees from the south.
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