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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Police foil bomb attack in Istanbul


Turkish police said on Wednesday they had detained two suspected Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) members in possession of 5.7 kilograms of plastic explosives, believed to have been intended for attacks in Istanbul.

In a statement carried by the Anatolia news agency, police said the suspected members of the outlawed PKK were detained last week in a joint operation with the National Intelligence Organization (MIT).

A third person was also detained for aiding and abetting the PKK terrorists, the statement said.

A shadowy Kurdish group that calls itself the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) has claimed several recent bomb attacks in urban centers, including Istanbul, and threatened to target tourist areas.

Turkish officials say TAK is a front the PKK uses for attacks on civilian targets; the PKK claims TAK is a splinter group over which it has no control.

More than 37,000 people have died in Turkey since 1984, when the PKK, blacklisted as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, took up arms for Kurdish self-rule in the southeast of the country.
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