BEIRUT

Middle East

Turkish Airlines denies arms shipment to Nigeria

(FILES) - A picture taken on May 15, 2013 in Isgtanbul shows a Turkish Airlines plane about to take off at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul. AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

ANKARA: Turkish Airlines has denied reports claiming that it carried arms to Nigeria, where Islamic militants have killed thousands of people.

A statement issued Wednesday said the company does not carry arms shipments to countries banned by the U.N. Security Council or those plagued by "authority vacuum and conflict." It added the company had not transported arms to Nigeria from Turkey or other countries.

The reports stem from an audio recording anonymously leaked onto the Internet Tuesday, purporting to be of a telephone conversation between an airlines official and an aide to the Turkish prime minister discussing Nigeria-bound cargo.

The recording is one of several leaked onto websites in recent weeks. The government says the recordings are fabricated as part of a plot to discredit the government ahead of local elections.

 

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