Turkey Arrests 13 Suspected of Qaida Links

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Thirteen people suspected of having links to al-Qaida were arrested in northwest Turkey following the discovery of explosives, the local governor said Thursday.

Police seized 90 kilograms (198 pounds) of ammonium nitrate, which can be used to make bombs, in a house raid in Karamursel, Kocaeli province, Governor Ercan Topaca was quoted as saying by Anatolia news agency.

"Thirteen people have been arrested and four others are wanted as part of this operation targeting al-Qaida circles", he added.

The alleged militants were suspected of wanting to foment attacks against targets that have not yet been identified, the official said.

Two bomb attacks in November 2003 in Istanbul left 63 people dead and hundreds wounded.

Seven men were sentenced to life in prison in 2007 for involvement in these attacks, which were blamed on al-Qaida and that targeted two synagogues, the British consulate and a branch of the British bank HSBC.

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