Third assailant captured after suspected Al-Qaeda attack on gendarmerie in central Turkey
Three people were killed in the attack. AA PhotoInterior Minister Efkan Ala has announced that a third assailant has been captured, following a suspected al-Qaeda attack on a gendarmerie unit in the Central Anatolian province of Niğde on March 20, which left three dead and five injured.
Two of the assailants, 18-year-old E.S. and E.A, were Albanian citizens, while 23-year-old Ç.R was a citizen of Kosovo, although all were speaking Arabic, according to reports.
They could be members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or al-Qaeda, the minister added, according to daily Hürriyet.
Police seized seven grenades, three kalashnikovs, two mufflers and three bayonets.
The assailants’ attacks occurred at a check point while they were driving to Istanbul in a cab rented in Hatay.
A gendarmerie soldier, police officer and truck driver were killed in the attack, while five others were wounded.
Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay said Mach 20 that the information he had received pointed to Syrian links, saying “some people might want to cause unrest before the elections.”
“We have not suffered from terrorist attacks for a long time and there is a great deal of satisfaction about that among the Turkish public,” Atalay told reporters. “But it is understood that it is not an internal terrorist attack, but is coming from outside Turkey, to poison the pre-election atmosphere.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has described the incident as a “vicious terrorist attack.”