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Turkey cracks down on radical group after US embassy attack

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Turkish police launched a massive nationwide crackdown Tuesday against a radical Marxist group which claimed a suicide bomb attack against the US embassy this month, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported.

Police issued arrest warrants for 167 people in 28 cities as part of the operation against the Revolutionary People's Liberation Front (DHKP-C), which is classified as a terrorist organisation by the United States, Anatolia said.

Academics, civil servants, teachers, doctors and university students are reported to have been targeted in the raids, including 33 arrested in the capital Ankara and nearly 50 in Istanbul.

The outlawed DHKP-C, which has waged a string of attacks over the past few decades that have left dozens of people dead, including prominent political and military figures, claimed the February 1 attack on the US embassy in Ankara.

A Turkish guard at the highly-fortified embassy was killed and three other people including a journalist were wounded in the second attack on a US diplomatic mission in five months.

The fiercely anti-US group also claimed a suicide bombing that killed a police officer in Istanbul on September 11 and has threatened further attacks on other US diplomatic facilities in Turkey.

In January, Turkey carried out a major nationwide crackdown on the DHKP-C, arresting 85 people including attorneys, teachers and university students.

The DHKP-C identified the bomber in the embassy attack as Alisan Sanli, who was previously jailed in Turkey for his involvement in an attack on an Istanbul military compound in 1997.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130219/turkey-cracks-down-radical-group-after-us-embassy-attack