Detained suspects face court over links to buried explosives

April 20, 2012, Friday/ 17:07:00

Sixteen people were taken to the Beşiktaş Courthouse early on Friday in connection with the discovery of explosives in an İstanbul cemetery on Tuesday.

Following an interrogation at the counterterrorism unit office of the İstanbul Police Department, 16 suspects were sent to court and four others were released. Police teams found 15 kilograms of explosives thought to have been buried by the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the Kozlu Cemetery in İstanbul's Zeytinburnu district.

The search was reportedly based on the testimony of 19 suspects detained during anti-PKK operations in İstanbul and Diyarbakır. The explosives were unearthed on Tuesday and were taken to the İstanbul Police Department on the same day for further examination.

Responding to questions from reporters in front of the İstanbul Police Department on Tuesday, İstanbul Police Chief Hüseyin Çapkın said the explosives found seem to be of two different types. He also said a hand grenade was also discovered during the search. Çapkın also stated that the explosives found in the cemetery are equal to 500 kilograms of hand grenades.

In March of this year, İstanbul counterterrorism teams carried out excavations at two sites in İstanbul in search of explosives as part of a terrorism investigation and found 15 kilograms of plastic explosives at one of the sites. The searches were carried out as part of an investigation into the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), a political umbrella organization that includes the PKK.

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