Turkish security forces capture terror suspect involved in Reyhanlı bombing

Published 22.02.2019 18:48

Turkish security forces have captured a terror attack suspect involved in the 2013 Reyhanlı bombing that killed 53 people in southeastern Turkey, the deadliest attack in the country at the time, reports said Friday.

Aykan Hamurcu, who went by the code name "Hakan", was captured by the Hatay Police Department's counterterrorism units on a highway between the districts of Antakya and Samandağ.

The Reyhanlı bombing on May 11, 2013 had a significantly high death toll as a bomb-laden vehicle was first detonated in the town center, killing scores and causing destruction, and then a second vehicle was detonated five minutes after, when dozens including civilians, first-aid units and security forces had rushed to the area to help those who were wounded in the attack.

In addition to killing 53 people and injuring dozens of others, the attack devastated the district, damaging 912 houses, 891 businesses and 148 vehicles.

Turkish officials have since blamed the Assad regime and the Syrian Military Intelligence Directorate, also known as Mukhabarat, for the attack.

In February, a court in the capital Ankara sentenced nine people to multiple aggravated life sentences for the attack while issuing 10 to 15 years in jail for 13 others.

Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MIT) captured Yusuf Nazik, a key suspect in the attack in September through a "pinpoint operation" carried out in Syria's Latakia, a stronghold of the Bashar Assad regime.

Nazik was listed in the "blue" category of Turkey's most wanted terrorists list. According to his confession, he was given up-to-the-minute intelligence from Syrian intelligence units and scouted the crime scene prior to the attack, then moved explosives from Syria to Turkey.

Nazik previously said that he obtained two vehicles to move the explosives.

Reportedly, the Assad regime did not only help Nazik during the Reyhanlı attack but it also helped him with daily life in Latakia afterward.

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