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Inmates' Attack Plans Seized, Turkey Says

December 25, 2000|From Associated Press

ANKARA, Turkey — Inmates in Istanbul's Umraniye prison, where a four-day standoff with troops ended last week, had stockpiled guns, homemade bombs, syringe-tipped arrows and detailed maps of government offices, Turkish authorities said Sunday.

Umraniye's inmates were the last to surrender in a protest in 20 Turkish prisons over plans to move prisoners from large, communal wards to small cells.

Troops stormed the prisons Tuesday to end a two-month hunger strike by leftist inmates; 28 people died in the standoff.

The government said Umraniye was the operations center of a radical leftist group called the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front. The group's leaders have been placed in solitary confinement, Interior Minister Saadettin Tantan said Saturday.

On Sunday, prison authorities displayed alleged plans by prisoners to attack government officers, police stations and military units in several cities, Turkey's Anatolian news agency reported.

The weapons seized ranged from an Uzi machine gun to homemade rifles to makeshift flamethrowers and arrows tipped with needles.

Eighty-one prison directors and wardens accused of accepting bribes to allow the weapons were fired, Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk said.

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