Turkey - 
Article published the Saturday 12 November 2011 - Latest update : Saturday 12 November 2011

Kurdish ferry hijacker killed on Turkey's Sea of Marmara

Coastguards prepare to board the Kartepe ferry to disembark the hostages
Reuters/Osman Orsal

By RFI

The hijacker of a Turkish ferry has been killed and the 24 people aboard freed after 12 hours. Officials say that the man was a supporter of the Kurdish rebel group, the PKK, and was carrying plastic explosives.

Commandos, under the command of Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin, stormed the Kartepe ferry at dawn and had killed the hijacker and finished the operation in 10 minutes.

Istanbul governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu said the hijacker, aged about 30, was a member of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The Kartepe was hijacked on Friday at about 1600 GMT in the Sea of Marmara. PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan is imprisoned on an island there.

Turkey's interior ministry has said the hijacker was wearing plastic explosives, although earlier Kocaeli governor Ercan Topaca said he had a “mechanism made of bottles and wires” which appeared to be a bomb but turned out not to be.

Police raided the hijacker's home in the port of Izmit, taking away some documents, according to the NTV news channel, while one person was arrested in the city in connection with the hijacking, Topaca said.

There were 18 passengers, including five women, on the ferry, along with four crew and two trainees.

tags: Ferry - Hijacking - Istanbul - Kurdistan - Kurds - Party - PKK - Sea of Marmara - Terrorism - Turkey - Workers
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