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Middle East

U.S. offers rewards to find Turkish leftists

An embassy security guard asks for help at the US embassy just minutes after a suicide bomber has detonated an explosive device at the entrance of the U.S. Embassy in the Turkish capital, Ankara, Turkey, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Yavuz Ozden)

WASHINGTON: The United States has offered $3 million rewards to find the elusive leaders of a militant left-wing Turkish movement that last year attacked the US embassy in Ankara.

The US State Department said it would offer the money for information leading to the location of three leaders of the Revolutionary People's Liberation Front (DHKP-C): Musa Asoglu, Zerrin Sari, and Seher Demir Sen.

Originally formed in 1978 as Devrimci Sol, or Dev Sol, and renamed after factional fighting, the DHKP-C is vehemently opposed to the United States, the Turkish establishment and NATO, the trans-Atlantic alliance in which US ally Turkey is a key member.

Banned in Turkey, the radical Marxist group has carried out attacks over the years that have killed dozens of people including two retired generals and a former justice minister.

In February 2013, the group claimed responsibility after a suicide bomber blew himself up in front of the tightly guarded US embassy in Ankara, killing himself and a Turkish security guard. The DHKP-C also said it was behind a suicide attack on September 11, 2012, that killed a Turkish police officer.

The State Department, in a statement Wednesday, said that the whereabouts of the three DHKP-C leaders were unknown. But it said at least one of them, Sari, was likely in Belgium, Germany or The Netherlands. Sari is the widow of the group's founder Dursun Karatas, who spent years hiding in Europe before dying in Amsterdam of cancer in 2008.

The United States and the European Union classify the DHKP-C as a terrorist organization. US officials have said that the group raises funds in Europe and through extortion.

 

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