UPDATE 2 – Turkey nabs key suspect of 2013 Reyhanli attack

UPDATES WITH TURKISH JUSTICE MINISTER'S COMMENTS

By Hasan Oymez

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MIT) said on Wednesday it has captured a key plotter of the 2013 Reyhanli attack from the Syrian port city of Latakia.

According to information gathered by Anadolu Agency, the MIT brought Yusuf Nazik to Turkey with a "pinpoint operation" and began interrogation on the deadly attack that killed scores of people in southern Turkey.

Nazik, 34, who was marked in the blue category of the Interior Ministry's wanted terrorists list, confessed that on a tip off from Syrian intelligence units, he scouted the crime scene prior to the attack and moved explosives from Syria to Turkey.

He added that he procured two vehicles to move the explosives.

Nazik, who was born in Antakya city in Turkey's southern province of Hatay, confessed that he was acting on orders from Syrian intelligence units, adding: "I was not able to escape from the Turkish state," in video footage available with Anadolu Agency.

"I am calling out to my friends in Syria, turn back while there still is time. The Turkish state will protect us. I am calling out to the state of Syria, Turkish state will make you pay eventually," he added.

Nazik, during interrogation, reportedly gave out detailed information about Mihrac Ural — a terrorist responsible for the Reyhanli attack who is being sought by an Interpol red notice — and called out on other fugitive terrorists to surrender.

Turkey blames Ural for a spate of attacks in May 2013 in the town of Reyhanli in Turkey’s southern Hatay province that left 53 people dead.

The May 2013 bombings in Reyhanli district of Hatay, near the Turkish border with Syria, left 53 people dead. A total of 912 buildings, 891 workplaces and 148 vehicles were heavily damaged in the attack.

On Feb. 23, 2018, a Turkish court sentenced nine of the 33 suspects with aggravated life imprisonment and 13 others with jail time ranging from 10 to 15 years.

Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul on Wednesday afternoon hailed the operation, said the state of Turkey will go after all culprits and terror organizations.

"It was a successful operation. Our state will come after every kind of terrorist group and [Turkey's] independent judiciary will give out fair sentences, wherever the culprit may be," Gul told reporters during his visit to central Konya province.

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