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Prosecutors probe interior minister for Turkey attack security lapse: Report

AFP , Friday 23 Oct 2015
Feridun Sinirlioglu
Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu addresses the media in Ankara, Turkey, October 16, 2015. (Reuters)
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Prosecutors in Turkey have opened a preliminary investigation into the country's interior minister, accused of negligence after the Ankara bombing that killed 102 people this month, the Hurriyet newspaper said Friday.

The probe is unlikely to get off the ground, however, because prosecutors would need a green light from the government to strip minister Selami Altinok of his political immunity and launch a full investigation.

The preliminary inquiry was opened after Ankara's legal association filed a complaint accusing Altinok of having missed warning signs which could have permitted security services to foil the attack on October 10, the bloodiest in Turkey's history.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group is the government's "suspect number one" for the attack, which saw two suicide bombers blow themselves up outside the capital's central train station.

Four suspects linked to a Turkish jihadist cell were charged this week with having a role in the attack, while prosecutors said one of the bombers was the brother of a man suspected of another bombing in July which killed 34.

According to Turkish media reports, those behind the Ankara attack were on a list of some 20 Islamic militants considered by police to be dangerous. Opposition parties have accused the government of failing to take IS seriously.

While Ankara's police chief and two other officials were sacked afer the bombing, Davutoglu and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have fiercely resisted calls for the interior minister's departure.

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