(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
ISTANBUL - Turkish police shot dead a would-be suicide bomber who was set to attack a police station and intelligence base in the Mediterranean city of Mersin on Wednesday, security sources said.
The sources said the targeted police station, in the city's Yenisehir district, was next to the regional headquarters of Turkey's MIT national intelligence agency.
Mersin state prosecutor Mustafa Ercan told the state-run Anadolu news agency that the authorities were working on the assumption that the assailant was an Islamic State militant.
The incident occurred at 9:30 am (0630 GMT) when police began trailing a man in his 30s behaving suspiciously and opened fire as he refused to stop when ordered to do so, 30 meters (33 yards) from the police station, Dogan news agency said.
Bomb disposal experts were working to defuse an apparent explosive device found on the man, it said.
Islamic State militants have previously carried out gun and bomb attacks in Turkey. Many foreign fighters have also passed through Turkey in recent years on their way to join the jihadist group in its self-proclaimed caliphate in Syria and Iraq.
Ankara has detained more than 5,000 Islamic State suspects and deported some 3,290 foreign militants from 95 different countries in recent years, according to Turkish officials.