NEWS

Clue on Cyprus bombings?

NICOSIA – (AFP) Turkish-Cypriot police have seized explosives in a car that a soldier abandoned by the roadside in the breakaway north of the divided island after it broke down, police said late on Wednesday. The car was seized late Tuesday in Gonyeli just outside the divided capital Nicosia and was found to contain some explosives, said the statement from the police force of the breakaway Turkish-Cypriot state in northern Cyprus. «An investigation revealed that the car belonged to an officer tasked with unexploded ordnance disposal who abandoned the vehicle by the side of the road after it broke down on his return from a mission,» it added. The officer in question was set to face military prosecution over the incident, the statement said. It gave no further details. Earlier Wednesday, Turkish-Cypriot Interior Minister Ozkan Murat told reporters that several explosives had been found in the car, which had civilian license plates and belonged to a Turkish soldier – an explosives expert – stationed in northern Cyprus. The minister suggested that the explosives might be linked to a series of recent bomb attacks in the breakaway statelet, which is recognized only by Ankara. «We do not know whether it is a coincidence or not, but the explosives found on the car resemble the explosives used recently,» Murat said without elaborating. On February 19, a homemade bomb exploded outside the home of Mehmet Ali Talat, the leader of the Turkish-Cypriot administration, causing some material damage, but no casualties. On May 7, three homemade bombs went off outside the office of the leading Turkish-Cypriot newspaper, Kibris. No one was hurt in the blasts.