ANKARA - Turkish police on Tuesday detained 37 people with suspected links to al Qaeda, state-run Anatolian news agency said.

The operation took place in five provinces in central and southern Turkey. Police also seized guns and computers from suspected al Qaeda cell houses, Anatolian said.

Three other people were being sought by security forces.

Security sources were not immediately available for comment on the Anatolian report.

One of those detained was believed to have links with a suspected al Qaeda cell in the southern province of Gaziantep, which engaged police in a deadly firefight last year.

Six of those detained in Gaziantep province had received training in Afghanistan, Anatolian said.

Islamist radicals have carried out bomb attacks in predominantly Muslim Turkey in the past, most notably in 2003 when al Qaeda militants killed more than 60 people in a series of bombings in Istanbul.