Turkish military kills organiser of February attack in Ankara

Turkish military kills organiser of February attack in Ankara

The Turkish military has killed a Kurdish militant who organised a deadly attack in the capital in February, as the country is still reeling from Tuesday's attack at Istanbul airport.
2 min read
01 July, 2016
The February 17 suicide attack in Ankara killed at least 29 people [Getty]

The organiser of a deadly suicide attack in Ankara earlier this year has been killed in Kurdish-majority south-east Turkey, as authorities pressed ahead with an investigation into the recent Istanbul airport attack.

Mehmet Sirin Kaya, a member of the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons [ TAK], was killed in the town of Lice in the province of Diyarbakir, an official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said on Friday.

The February 17 suicide attack against military personnel in Ankara killed at least 29 people.

The TAK - a radical splinter group of the better-known Kurdistan Workers Party [PKK] - claimed the suicide bomb attack in Ankara, saying that it was in response to security operations in the south-east.

At least 44 people were killed in a triple suicide bombing at Istanbul's international airport on Tuesday, with the government pointing the finger of blame at the Islamic State group [IS].

Authorities said the three suicide bombers in the attack - which echoed the carnage earlier this year at the Brussels airport - were from Russia and the Central Asian nations of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

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Turkish and Swedish media have identified Chechen extremist, Akhmed Chatayev, as the organiser of the recent attack.

Thirteen people, suspected of possible links to the attack, were detained in raids in three Istanbul neighbourhoods on Thursday.

Local media said that 11 more suspects - all of them foreign nationals - were detained in a separate raid on a house in Istanbul early on Friday.

IS, which has used Turkey to establish itself in neighbouring Syria and Iraq, has repeatedly threatened Turkey in its propaganda, and the NATO member has blamed IS for several major bombings in the past year in both Ankara and Istanbul.

A key partner in the US-led coalition against IS, Turkey also faces security threats from the Kurdish rebels who are demanding greater autonomy in Turkey's south-east region and from ultra-left radicals.

Kurdish rebels have carried out numerous car bomb attacks in the past year, including February's Ankara attack and another devastating bombing in the capital in March.

Agencies contributed to this report.