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    More than 50 detained in anti-terror operations in southern Turkey

    Hurriyet Daily News with wires
    27.04.2009 - 10:26 | Son Güncelleme:

    ISTANBUL - Around 50 people were detained in anti-terror operations held simultaneously in six provinces of Turkey against an Islamic organization, the state-run Anatolian Agency reported Monday. (UPDATED)

    The operations were held in the southern provinces of Adana and Osmaniye as well as Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Kahramanmaras and Adiyaman in the Southeast.

     

    The police raided 17 different spots in Gaziantep and detained 16 people with suspected connections with the Islamic “Vasat” terror organization, the report added. Dogan News Agency said 13 of the detainees were from the raids in Sanliurfa.

     

    Police also engaged in a shootout with militants in Istanbul, but Gov. Muammer Guler declined to comment whether these operations were connected.

     

    The leader of the Vasat organization, Shahmeran Sari, was detained during the operations, the private Dogan News Agency reported. Sari was sentenced to prison as the perpetrator of a bomb attack in 1997 that killed one and injured 22 others, the report added. Sari was released from prison a while ago, Dogan also reported. 

     

    The detained suspects were launching operations in line with the directives from Sari, DHA reported, adding that they were holding meetings in Sanliurfa and collecting money in the name of the organization.

     

    Three notebook computers and seven hard-drives belonging to the organization were seized by police.

     

    Interrogations had started for the 13 suspects who were detained in Sanliurfa, DHA also reported, adding that efforts were ongoing to capture more suspects, whose names were not announced.

     

    The Vasat organization is known for bombing a bible-selling stand in a fair area in 1998, killing a child. The organization also killed a police chief in a clash in Sanliurfa province in 2000.

     

     

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