Turkey arrests three from Albania, Kosovo for 'terror' attack

Two Albanians and a man from Kosovo have been arrested for a suspected "terror" attack that claimed the lives of two soldiers and a policeman in southern Turkey, Interior Minister Efgan Ala said Friday.

The three men were arrested after Thursday's attack, in which assailants opened fire on security forces carrying out a highway patrol near the town of Ulukisla, close to the Syrian border.

"The suspects captured were two citizens of Albania and the third from Kosovo," the official Anatolia news agency quoted Ala as saying.

Albania's interior ministry, however, denied that any of those arrested were Albanian citizens.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had labelled the shooting a "vile act of terror" and said the three security officers killed were "martyrs".

Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay said the attackers had "a link with Syria", without giving further details.

Local media reported they were affiliated with militant Islamist organisations operating in Syria.

News agency Dogan said the three suspects, aged between 18 and 23, had crossed the border from Syria into Turkey via the Hatay province then caught a taxi toward Istanbul.

Violence has become commonplace along the border between the two countries since the outbreak of civil war between rebel groups and the troops of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad three years ago.

Syrian Islamist opposition groups, including Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front, are also vying for control of a regime-held border crossing, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday.

Turkey, a fierce opponent of Assad's regime, has been accused of supplying arms to several rebel groups fighting to topple Assad since 2011.