Nine detained in raids against outlawed group that attacked AKP, Justice Ministry
ANKARA – Doğan News Agency
The police operation was captured by police cameras and images were distributed to the press. DHA photo
Turkish police are searching a former union head as part of its operations into the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP/C), in the wake of twin attacks in Ankara earlier this week.
The police are continuing to search for M.K., 35, H.B., 55, and M.K., 32, the three chief suspects of the two attacks against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) headquarters and the Justice Ministry in Ankara on March 18.
One of the three main suspects, H.B., is the former Liman-İş (Port Employment) Union head, and is accused of bombing the Justice Ministry, Doğan News Agency reported. He has alleged links to the Syrian wing of DHKP/C, and was labeled previously by security forces as a suicide bomber.
M.K. is accused of attacking the AKP headquarters, while M.K. is suspected of standing guard when the attacks were conducted, according to daily Hürriyet.
14 detained in raids
Police detained 14 suspects in early morning raids in Ankara’s Mamak district on March 22, as part of operations.
Police conducted air supported raids on 14 addresses allegedly belonging to members of the DHKP/C, which are referred to as “safe houses,” after taking the testimonies of more than 200 people and tracing the footsteps of the suspects on city cameras. A total of 14 people were detained in total in raids as parts of the operations.
Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç told reporters in Ankara that none of the detained suspects had been directly involved in the attacks.
One person was injured in a bomb explosion in front of the Justice Ministry, while the AKP headquarters in Ankara was also attacked with a flame thrower.
The suspects entered Turkey after staying in Greece’s Lavrion Refugee Camp with Ecevit Şanlı, the suicide attacker who blew himself up in the complex of the U.S. Embassy in Ankara at the beginning of February, according to daily Hürriyet’s report based on Turkish intelligence sources.
A notification from Ankara anti-terror police led a Special Operations Team to raid 14 addresses, daily also added.
DHKP/C claims responsibility for attack
The anti-tank LAW gun that was used in the Justice Ministry attack was reportedly captured in the raids and sent to the prosecutor’s office.
The DHKP/C admitted in a statement that it had attacked the AKP building and the Justice Ministry, which it described as the symbol of “injustice” in the country.