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ISIS New Year's Eve Bombing Plot Foiled in Turkey, Officials Say

Turkish authorities say they've stopped a plot to bomb New Year's Eve celebrations in Turkey's capital just one day before two suspected Islamic State members were to set their plan in motion.

The attackers were targeting Ankara, according to the city's chief public prosecutor's office, two months after a pair of suicide blasts killed more than 100 people at a peace rally in the city.

From Istanbul, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports:

"Prosecutors in Ankara say two suspects who had crossed into Turkey from Syria were detained in the capital. Explosives and suicide belts were also seized. The explosives were to be fortified with steel balls and other objects intended to maximize the damage they could cause.

"Police say the two men were scouting locations in central Kizilay square and bars likely to be filled with year-end revelers. There are unconfirmed reports from Turkish media that the suspects are Turks who had traveled to Syria."

Officials say they seized explosive vests that would likely have been more effective than the materials used in the Oct. 10 attack that stands as the deadliest terrorist attack in modern Turkey's history, according to Hurriyet Daily News.

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Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.
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