Istanbul bomb suspects in investigative detention

Türkiye Materials 3 August 2008 14:20 (UTC +04:00)

Eight of 10 suspects who were arrested in connection with last week's deadly terror bombs in Istanbul were put Sunday in preventive detention, local media reports said. ( dpa )

The reports said that those arrested were suspected to be members of the banned Kurdish separatist group PKK, although there has been no official confirmation.

On Saturday, Turkish Interior Minister Besir Atalay had said the case had been "cleared up," using language to hint that Kurdish extremists were behind the bombs which killed 17 people and wounded more than 150 on July 27.

Atalay said the attack was "the work of the separatist terror organisation with blood on its hands."

The case had been "cleared up on the basis of certain evidence and information which left behind no doubts," the minister said.

Atalay also said that those arrested were also being charged in connection with another attack in a tea garden in mid-June which wounded 10 persons. Like the July 27 attack, that bomb attack took place in the district of Gungoren in the European part of the city.

Atalay said that of the 154 persons wounded in last week's attack, 27 were still being treated in hospital.

The Gungoren attack was the worst in Istanbul in five years.

The PKK, fighting for a separate Kurdish state in the south- eastern part of Turkey at the cost of some 35,000 lives over the past three decades, has denied any connection with the July 27 attack.

The United States and European Union have classified the PKK as a terrorist organisation.