Two arrested on suspicion of planning New Year suicide attack on Turkish capital Ankara

Turkish officials say the foiled terror plot could have been linked to Isis

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The Independent Online

Two people have been arrested in the Turkish capital of Ankara on suspicion of planning a suicide attack on the city on New Year's Eve.

Turkish television channel NTV reported that the would-be bombers travelled from Isis-controlled Syria to Turkey to carry out the attacks.

An official told Reuters the two men - who are believed to be Turkish nationals - were thought to have been preparing an attack on Kizilay square in central Ankara where crowds usually gather to celebrate the New Year.

The state run news agency, Andalou Agency, said the pair were detained in a house raid in the Mamak district on the outskirts of the city on Wednesday morning.

The agency quoted an official from the chief prosecutor's office who said police seized suicide vests loaded with bombs that are believed to have been fortified with ball bearings and metal sticks.

The men - identified only by their initials M.C. and A.Y. - were allegedly planning to detonate their vests near bars and a shopping mall during the celebrations.

They are now in custody and are being interviewed by Turkish police.

It comes just two months after two suicide bombers killed 103 people who gathered for a peace rally outside Ankara's main train station.

Isis has stepped up its attacks on the Turkish state after it began an aerial bombing campaign against the terror group following a suicide attack on the border town of Suruc in July which killed more than 30 people.

Turkey has a 900 km (550 mile) border with Syria - which is partially controlled by Isis on the Syrian side - which has been used to smuggle would-be jihadists in Europe to carry out attacks since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011. 

Additional reporting by agencies