ANKARA, Turkey: Turkish intelligence agents in an operation in Syria have captured a man wanted over a deadly 2013 bomb attack and brought him back to Turkey for questioning, Turkey’s state-run news agency reported on Wednesday.
Anadolu Agency said Yusuf Nazik, a main suspect in the attack, was captured in Syria’s government-controlled Latikia province. He is wanted for allegedly planning and organizing two car bombs that killed 53 people in the town of Reyhanli, near the border with Syria.
Turkey had accused Damascus of being behind the explosions and blamed them on a Turkish Marxist group with alleged links to Syria’s intelligence agency.
The bombings came as Turkey sided with Syria’s opposition against President Bashar Assad, hosting political opponents and rebel commanders and sheltering Syrian refugees who fled the conflict.
Anadolu agency reported that during his initial questioning, Nazik confessed that he had received instructions from Syrian intelligence units to carry out an attack on Turkish soil, that he had staked out possible targets, had smuggled explosives from Syria into Turkey and organized the car bombs.
In a video recording broadcast on several Turkish television channels, Nazik is seen standing next to a Turkish flag, confessing his responsibility in the attack and admitting to having received instructions from Syrian intelligence.
He called on others wanted over the attack to give themselves up and warned the Syrian government that “Turkey will certainly bring you to account.”
In February, nine people were sentenced to life terms in prison for their involvement in the attack. Thirteen other suspects were given sentences ranging between 10 and 15 years.
Anadolu said Nazik and seven other suspects were at large and were wanted on international arrest warrants.