Four held in Turkey over Ankara attack, bomber identified


Istanbul: A criminal court in Turkey has ordered the detention of four people over a deadly Ankara attack, as the country’s PM said on Monday that one of the two suicide bombers involved had been officially identified.

The suspects, remanded in custody after going before a judge last night, were charged with making “explosive devices with the intention to kill” and “an attempt to disrupt constitutional order”, Anatolia news agency said Monday.

The Ankara prosecutor in charge of the case meanwhile released two other suspects and issued a warrant for nine others accused of playing a part in the October 10 attack that killed 102 people, the worst of its kind in Turkey’s history.

Turkish authorities have said the Islamic State (IS) group is the “number one suspect” for the attacks which targeted a pro-Kurdish and liberal peace rally calling for an end to hostilities between security forces and Kurdish rebels.

Police suspect the bombers were two young Turks from the city of Adiyaman in the south of the country, a stronghold for Islamist militants, according to Turkish media reports.

One was identified in the reports as Yunus Emre Alagoz, brother of the man who carried out a similar attack in July in Suruc, a town in southern Turkey on the border with Syria, that killed 34 people.

The other, identified as Omer Deniz Dundar, had twice been to Syria recently, the reports said.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu confirmed Monday that one of the suicide bombers had been officially identified through DNA testing, but would not provide any details to avoid “plunging people into panic”.

“One of the terrorists has been identified. We are exploring ties between the attacks on Suruc, Ankara and Diyarbakir,” he said in a television interview.

Five people were killed in Diyarbakir in June after a bomb exploded during a pre-election campaign rally for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). One man was arrested for involvement in that attack.

Davutoglu said a total of 768 people had been arrested over suspected links to IS since the Suruc attack in July, and pledged to track down those responsible for the latest atrocity.

Many of those arrested have since been released.

The four remanded in custody on Sunday were part of a group originally detained due to suspicious posts on Twitter.

Ankara prosecutors have banned the publication of materials relating to the investigation, and Davutoglu insisted that “all words, all information which could plunge people into panic would help the terrorists”.



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