Suicide vests, Kalashnikovs found in Ankara probe

2015-10-19 22:20
Hundreds of people gathered in Ankara to commemorate the first week anniversary of the blasts that claimed 102 lives. (Burhan Ozbilici, AP)

Hundreds of people gathered in Ankara to commemorate the first week anniversary of the blasts that claimed 102 lives. (Burhan Ozbilici, AP)

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Istanbul - Turkish prosecutors said on Monday that police had discovered suicide vests, Kalashnikovs and hand grenades during searches of homes and vehicles belonging to suspects in the Ankara bombing that left 102 people dead.

"A Ford Focus car used in the Ankara attack has been found, as well as 11 suicide vests, six Kalashnikovs, 22 hand grenades, 1 683 bullets and hundreds of kilogrammes of explosives," prosecutors said in a statement.

Four people were remanded in custody over the October 10 attack - the worst of its kind in Turkey's history - as the identity of one of the two suicide bombers involved was revealed.

Suicide bombers

The suspects, who went before a judge on Sunday night, were charged with making "explosive devices with the intention to kill" and "an attempt to disrupt constitutional order", Anatolia news agency said.

Prosecutors meanwhile issued arrest warrants for nine others accused of playing a part in the bombings.

Turkish authorities have said the Islamic State (ISIS) 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.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu confirmed on Monday that one of the suicide bombers had been officially identified through DNA testing, with prosecutors naming him as Yunus Emre Alagoz.

Alagoz, a young Turk from the Islamist militant stronghold of Adiyaman, was the brother of the man suspected of carrying out a similar attack in July in Suruc, a town in southern Turkey on the border with Syria, that killed 34 people, prosecutors said.

"One of the suicide bombers has been identified as Yunus Emre Alagoz. The other suicide bomber has been identified through photographs and efforts are going on to reveal his full identity," the prosecutors' statement said.

Tensions high

The prosecutors said that Alagoz, believed to have trained with ISIS jihadists in Syria, had travelled "from a neighbouring country on our southern borders in order to carry out the attack".

Turkish media had earlier identified the second bomber as Omer Deniz Dundar, who had twice been to Syria.

Police on Sunday arrested about 50 foreign nationals in a sweep targeting suspected ISIS jihadists with alleged links to the bombings.

Turkey is the main point of entry to Syria for ISIS recruits.

The Ankara attack has raised political tensions to new highs as Turkey prepares for a snap election on November 1, in a country that has become more polarised than ever.

Pressure has piled on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with opposition figures blaming him for security lapses over the Ankara bombing and failing to crack down on ISIS.

Read more on:    isis  |  turkey

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