Suspected Gaziantep bomber’s identity revealed

GAZİANTEP/İSTANBUL – 24.8.2012 – The police have released the identity of the man believed to have perpetrated the deadly Aug. 20 bombing in the southeastern province of Gaziantep, Gaziantep Gov. Erdal Ata has announced.

Murat Filiz, a.k.a. “Firaz,” a member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) member and the former Democratic Society Party (DTP), which was shut down by a court in 2006, is believed to have committed the bombing in Gaziantep. Showing Filiz’s picture to journalists, Ata said the police are searching for Filiz, whose identity was pinpointed using security cameras in the area of the bombing. Four other people who are believed to have helped Filiz have been arrested in the southern city of Diyarbakır, Ata said.

“Our efforts to find and arrest Filiz continue. We believe he has not gone abroad,” Ata said. “Soon, all aspects of the incident will be solved.”

The number of people detained in connection with the deadly Aug. 20 bombing has risen to 17, Ata said.  The detonation of a car bomb that killed nine people, including four children, near the Karşıyaka police station on the second day of the Ramadan Bayram holiday turned the celebration into a mourning period, Ata said in a speech to the city council, according to Anatolia news agency. “Our security department is doing everything that needs to be done. There were six people detained; now the number of detainees has reached 13. … The perpetrators of this massacre will be brought to justice. No one should have any doubt about that. What we ask of you is that you refrain from any kind of misdeed that could disrupt our unity and togetherness,” Ata said.

Alleged bomber a vice principal

Meanwhile, a man detained on suspicion of loading the bomb into the car used in the attack has been revealed to be the vice principal of a primary school in the Siverek district of Şanlıurfa, another southeastern province, according to Doğan news agency.

Siverek locals were reportedly shocked by the news of Mahmut H.’s detention. Described by colleagues as a calm person, Mahmut H. has a wife, who works as a teacher in nearby Diyarbakır, and three children. The school has launched an administrative investigation into Mahmut H., who was appointed to his position last year.