ANKARA Ñ Al Qaida launched its second major strike against Turkey in
less than a week, killing at least 27 people in a suicide car bombing. Thursday's attack targeted British interests; Last week's bombing took aim at Jewish synagogues.
Turkish security sources suspected Al Qaida agents used two pickup
trucks for coordinated suicide strikes in Istanbul on Thursday. The targets
were the British consulate and the headquarters of the London-based HSBC
bank. British Consul General Roger Short was killed in the bombing.
About 400 people were injured in the bombings, which took place within
five minutes of each other. Later, an anonymous caller said Al Qaida claimed
Both Britain and the United States have warned of additional attacks in
Turkey, Middle East Newsline reported. The two countries have warned their nationals to avoid travel to
certain places in Turkey.
Officials said the bombings were similar to those that killed 23 people
in Istanbul on Saturday. The targets of the first suicide attacks were two
"It seems the attacks have been conducted with the same barbaric
methods," Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said.
It was the first time Al Qaida had claimed responsibility for a bombing
attack in Turkey immediately after the strike. An anonymous caller to the
semi-official Anatolia news agency said Al Qaida and the Iranian-backed
Islamic Great Eastern Raiders' Front, or IBDA-C, carried out the attack. The
same two groups claimed responsibility for the Istanbul synagogue strikes.
The latest strike caused havoc in Turkey's financial markets. Trading on
the Turkish stock market was suspended as banks near HSBC, the second
largest financial institution in the world, halted operations.
Turkish officials said that Ankara suspects that the latest suicide
strikes were planned by Al Qaida in neighboring Iran. The officials said Al
Qaida has apparently recruited Turkish insurgents to identify and carry out
the attacks with financing and technical aid from Al Qaida.
Al Qaida operations chief Seif Al Adel was said to have revived
operations throughout the Middle East from Iran. The Islamic republic has
acknowledged that it has detained high-level Al Qaida members, but has not