Teacher accused of aiding Gaziantep bomber arrested

Mon 27 August 2012 04:50 GMT | 09:50 Local Time

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A man who is accused of aiding the bomber in a car bomb blast that killed nine civilians in the southeastern province of Gaziantep last week was arrested on Sunday.

The man, identified as M.F., was detained on Thursday in Mersin on suspicion of links to the blast. Police sources said the man is a teacher employed at a public school. M.F. reportedly took a stolen vehicle to a repair shop in Şanlıurfa's Siverek district a few days prior to the bomb attack. After the vehicle was repaired, other members of the terrorist Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) concealed bombs and other explosives inside it and took the vehicle to Gaziantep for the attack.

Nine people, including four children, were killed in the blast on Aug. 20, and as many as 70 were injured.

Gaziantep Governor Erdal Ata said a growing body of evidence shows that the attack was carried out by the PKK. However, in a statement posted on Tuesday on a website close to the terrorist group, the PKK said it was not responsible for the blast. “Our fighters have no links to this explosion,” the Fırat news agency cited the terrorist group as saying in the statement. Turkish authorities, however, believe the attack was masterminded and carried out by the PKK, but the terrorist group decided not to claim responsibility fearing a mounting reaction against the group because the victims of the blast were civilians.

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