From: Reuters
Published December 30, 2007 05:13 AM

Turkey arrests five for al Qaeda links: report

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey has detained five people for links with al Qaeda after police operations in four cities including the capital Ankara, Turkish TV reported on Sunday.

The arrests follow the detention at the weekend of 19 people for suspected links to the Islamist militant group, which had claimed responsibility for suicide bomb attacks against the British Consulate, two synagogues and an HSBC bank in Istanbul killing more than 60 people in November 2003.

The court ordered five of the suspects to be held for possible trial.

Turkish media said one of the suspects was a Turk who taught English language in the country's central city of Aksaray.

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Authorities have stepped up security in main cities ahead of the New Year Holiday, fearing bombings. Istanbul municipality cancelled a traditional New Year's Night party in the city's main square.

A Turkish woman died in a bomb blast in Istanbul on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Selcuk Gokoluk; editing by Sami Aboudi)

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