Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Police in Turkey defuse explosives found in minibus

Police in Turkey defuse explosives found in minibus -

There are times when it is not the Jihadis who are responsible for bombs or attempted bombing. In Turkey the threat comes from the separatist Kurds, who are probably Islamists anyway.

Bomb experts said the materials were similar to those seized in the past from Kurdish separatists. Turkey accuses Kurdish rebels of smuggling hundreds of pounds of explosives into the country from neighboring Iraq, where the guerrillas have been based for decades. Turkey is pressuring Iraq and the United States to crack down on the group in Iraq, threatening to do the job itself if others do not.

If authorities determine that rebels belonging to the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, were behind the plot, that could fuel debate about whether to stage a cross-border offensive to eliminate the threat -- despite strong objections from the United States and Iraq against such a unilateral military move.

The guerrillas have staged numerous bombings and suicide attacks in the past, but the bomb discovered Tuesday was the largest ever linked to the Kurdish rebels.

The governor's office said police found sacks of bomb-making materials, including chemicals and gas canisters connected to a mobile phone -- the method often used by Kurdish rebels in roadside bombing against troops in the country's Kurdish-dominated southeast near the Iraqi border. The type of the chemicals was not revealed.

"A possible disaster has been prevented," Gov. Kemal Onal told reporters.

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