Turkish Police have shot dead an Islamic State militant suspected of planning a terror attack on a police station in southern Turkey.

The assailant was said to be wearing a vest loaded with explosives. Police shot him on Wednesday outside a police station in the Yenisehir district which according to security sources is located next to the regional headquarters of MIT - Turkey's national intelligence agency.

A statement issued by the government confirmed the death of the assailant on Wednesday morning. The Mersin governor's office confirmed that the suspect was first spotted by the police some 50 metres from the police station.

The man as behaving suspiciously and was told to stop as he continued walking towards the station. The police opened fire after he ignored the repeated calls to stop and started to reach for a cable dangling from his shoulder which is believed to be the detonator plug.

Suspect was a Syrian national

The terrorist's suicide vest was later defused, confirmed Mustafa Ercan, the chief prosecutor of the Mersin province. The man's identity has not yet been revealed but Ercan said that the authorities believe that the suspect is a militant belonging to the so-called Islamic State.

The Dogan news agency, however, claims that the would-be-attacker was a 20-year-old Syrian national living in an apartment near the police station.

The father of the suspect has been taken into custody after the police searched his home. The family had moved into Mersin a year ago. The owner of the house said that the ISIS militant was unemployed and depended on aid provided by the neighbours and his relatives. He also confirmed that the man appeared to be 'partially paralyzed' when he first came from Syria and had been undergoing physiotherapy sessions at a hospital for the past six months.

Gateway to ISIS

Many fighters wishing to join the Islamic State pass through Turkey to reach the group's so called Caliphate in Iraq and Syria. According to government sources, Turkey has detained more than 5,000 ISIS suspects and deported around 3,290 foreign militants from 95 countries. The security forces have also cracked down on terror cells inside Turkey that are providing support to militants in Iraq and Syria.

Turkey's continued fight against ISIS has seen it become a target of a number of attacks in recent years.

In 2015, Turkey witnessed one of the deadliest attacks on its soil as twin suicide bombings in Ankara resulted in the deaths of 102 people while injuring 400 others at a rally on October 10.