Europe

Turkish police 'arrest 12 terror suspects' in raids

  • 30 May 2013
  • From the section Europe
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Turkish police have arrested 12 people suspected of links to a terrorist organisation, an official says.

Adana provincial governor Huseyin Avni Cos refused to name the organisation, but media reports linked the men to the Syrian jihadist Al-Nusra Front.

The men were arrested in raids in Istanbul and in the provinces of Adana and Mersin, according to Mr Cos.

The Al-Nusra Front is not part of the main rebel grouping but has been active in key anti-regime offensives in Syria.

Six of the men were later released and six were still in detention, Mr Cos said.

He denied earlier Turkish media reports that quantities of the deadly nerve agent sarin had been found in the raids.

Both sides in the Syrian civil war - particularly forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad - have been accused of using chemical weapons, including sarin.

Mr Cos did however say that unknown chemicals had been found and were being investigated.

The Al-Nusra Front has openly pledged its allegiance to al-Qaeda and has been put on a blacklist of terrorist organisations by the US.

There have been fears that Syria's conflict may spill over to affect neighbouring states.

Earlier this month, twin car bombs killed 52 people and injured at least 100 in the Turkish town of Reyhanli, near the Syrian border.

No group has said it had carried out the attack, but a senior Turkish official suggested the involvement of the Syrian intelligence services.

The Turkish government has been a key supporter of the Syrian opposition, and has allowed rebels as well as refugees onto its territory.