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Turkey Arrests Istanbul Bombing Suspects - 2003-11-21


Turkey says it has arrested several suspects in the suicide bombings that killed 27 people in Istanbul, but officials released few details about the investigation.

The arrests came as the United States, Britain and other governments warned their citizens not to travel to Turkey because of the possibility of more terrorist attacks.

British and Turkish officials say Thursday's attacks on British targets were similar to last Saturday's bombings outside Istanbul synagogues. Britain's foreign secretary (Jack Straw), who arrived at the blast sites in Istanbul late Thursday, says the attacks have the hallmarks of the al-Qaida terror network.

President Bush called Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan today (Friday) to offer his condolences for Thursday's bombing victims. A spokesman said both leaders promised to "stand shoulder to shoulder in the war on terror."

Turkey's foreign minister (Abdullah Gul) told reporters in Istanbul today (Friday) he could confirm arrests had been made, but says it is too early to divulge information about the suspects.

The Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported earlier that police had identified the two bombers who died in Thursday's blasts as Turkish citizens. The report said seven other people were detained for questioning.

Information for this report is provided by Reuters.

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