NEWS

Morphou service ‘to be safe’

A senior Turkish-Cypriot official yesterday assured Greek Cypriots it would be safe to attend this week’s scheduled Orthodox service at a church in occupied northern Cyprus that was damaged in a bomb attack last week. «We know there will be no problem,» administration chief Mehmet Ali Talat was quoted by the Turkish Anatolia News Agency as saying. «All necessary security measures have been taken. But I must say that terrorist attacks can be carried out in democratic countries. Therefore, it would be wrong to understate the peaceful mood.» Nobody was hurt in Friday’s pre-dawn attack on the church of Aghios Mamas in occupied Morphou, behind which Turkish-Cypriot extremists are believed to lie. The service, which will be the first since the 1974 Turkish invasion, was planned as a gesture of reconciliation between the island’s still-divided communities. The attack was condemned on both sides of the Green Line, with Cyprus’s justice minister, Doros Theodorou, claiming on Saturday that extremists might target the services on Wednesday and Thursday.