Ferry hijacker shot dead by Turkish authorities
- Tue, 15 Nov 2011
Turkish authorities have shot dead a suspected terrorist who hijacked a ferry with 24 passengers and crew and kept them hostage for 12 hours.
A Kurdish rebel seized the ferry Kartepe after it set sail from the port of Izmit, on the north-west coast of Turkey, on Friday evening. The ferry was pursued by the coastguards until it eventually ran out of fuel and anchored off the port of Silivri, 180km away.
The suspected terrorist kept everyone onboard hostage through the night, taking the mobile phones and passports from crew and passengers.
The Huffington Post reports that Turkish commandos wearing civilian clothes snuck onboard the hijacked ferry. They posed as hostages before shooting the Kurdish man before sunrise on Saturday.
"Shortly after the start of the operation, the vessel was boarded and the assailant was killed," said Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu. "It was clear that the assailant was a terror group member."
Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin identified the hijacker as Mensur Guzel, who was believed to have been armed explosives. Sahin said he was the head of rebel party PKK's youth wing, but the PKK has not claimed responsibility for the hijacking.
The PKK rebels want greater autonomy in Turkey's Kurdish-dominated south-east, the BBC explains. Violence has been escalating in the past few months in response to the government carrying out an offensiveagainst the group.
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