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Al-Qaeda suspect shot dead in Istanbul: report

world Updated: Jan 30, 2009 01:24 IST

AFP
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A suspected al-Qaeda militant was killed and three others captured in Istanbul on Thursday in a shootout with the police, Turkish media quoted Istanbul governor Muammer Guler as saying.

The shootout broke out after the four suspects attempted to rob a post office in Istanbul's suburb of Sultanbeyli.

"The incident occurred during a pursuit targetting the Al-Qaeda terrorist organisation," Guler told reporters, according to Anatolia news agency.

He expalined that police had intelligence of a planned robbery at the post office and had already taken position at the building when the group arrived.

"When they saw the police, the members of the organisation opened fire at them," Anatolia quoted the governor as saying.

"The police responded with fire and as a result one person was killed and three others captured, one of them injured," he said, adding that the investigation into the incident was continuing.

In earlier remarks carried by Anatolia, Guler described the suspects as "either robbers or suspected members of an illegal organisation."

A Turkish cell of Al-Qaeda was held responsible for four suicide bombings in Istanbul in November 2003, the deadliest terrorist attacks in Turkey so far.

The suicide drivers detonated truck bombs first at two synagogues, and five days later at the British consulate and a British bank, killing a total of 63 people, including the British council, injuring hundreds and causing massive destruction.