Iranian man among would-be PKK bombers captured by Turkish police

Police seized 3.5 kilograms of A4 plastic explosives in a raid in İstanbul’s Bahçelievler district on Wednesday. (Photo: AA)

November 15, 2012, Thursday/ 10:44:00

Two members of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) allegedly planning to stage bomb attacks in İstanbul in the event of a hunger striker's death were captured in an operation jointly conducted by İstanbul and Hakkari police.

One of the suspects, H.S., an Iranian national, was captured with bombs on his body in Hakkari's Yüksekova district after he crossed from Iran to Turkey through the Esendere border gate. During a police interrogation H.S. confessed that the terrorist group was planning four separate bomb attacks targeting civilians in İstanbul in the event of a hunger striker's death.

Hundreds of prisoners in dozens of jails across the country have been on hunger strike for the past 65 days, demanding that the government grant greater rights to Kurds and better conditions for the PKK's jailed leader Abdullah Öcalan. Turkey's main medical association has warned that fatalities are possible from around 60 days into a hunger strike.

H.S. was then taken from Hakkari to İstanbul, where he was interrogated again by police. Acting on the suspect's statement, the İstanbul Police Department's anti-terrorism unit seized 3.5 kilograms of A4 plastic explosives, two blank firing guns, 31 blank cartridges and organizational documents in H.S.'s common law partner's house in the Bahçelievler district.

Police also detained another suspect, O.A., whose identity was revealed by H.S. during the interrogation.

The two suspects were later taken to the İstanbul Courthouse in the city's Çağlayan neighborhood, which sent them to prison pending trial.

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