- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 16, 2021

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - Three New Zealand citizens were detained while attempting to illegally cross into Turkey from Syria, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said.

A ministry statement posted on Twitter on Monday said the group included a 26-year-old woman wanted on an Interpol notice for allegedly belonging to the extremist Islamic State group. The woman was identified only by her initials S.A.

The three were caught by border security units while trying to sneak into the town of Reyhanli, in Hatay province, the ministry said.

The state-run Anadolu Agency said the woman was accompanied by two children when she arrived at a local courthouse to be questioned by judicial officials following her interrogation by police. l

Turkey has intensified security along its border with Syria to prevent infiltrations and regularly carries out raids against suspected IS militants in the country.

Turkey has been hit by a string of attacks since 2015 by Kurdish militants and IS extremists, including a New Year’s Eve attack on a nightclub in Istanbul that left 39 people dead in 2017.

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