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Turkish synagogue bombers named { November 19 2003 }

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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 November, 2003, 11:37 GMT

Turkish synagogue bombers named

Turkish investigators have identified the bodies of two men suspected of carrying out Saturday's twin suicide attacks on Istanbul synagogues.

Istanbul governor Muammer Guler said DNA tests had shown that both men were Turks, and named them as Mesut Cabuk, 29, and Gokhan Elaltuntas, 22.

The car bombings killed 23 people and injured 300 others.

Mr Guler said the attacks were similar to those carried out by the al-Qaeda network of Osama Bin Laden.

Most of those killed in the blasts were Muslim Turks, who lived or worked near the synagogues, or were passing by when the bombs exploded.

The six Jewish victims of the attack were buried at the Ashkenazi Jewish Cemetery in Istanbul on Tuesday.

Conflicting claims

The twin attacks came within minutes of each other in the districts of Beyoglu and Sisli.

More than 40 of the wounded remain in hospital, including nine in intensive care.
The explosions have been followed by conflicting claims of responsibility.

A group calling itself the Abu Hafz al-Masri Brigades, linked to the al-Qaeda network, has said it carried out the attacks, but the statement has so far not been authenticated.

The group has also claimed responsibility for recent suicide bombings in Iraq, including the August attack on the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad.

Turkish officials have largely discounted an initial claim by a local fundamentalist group called the Islamic Front of Raiders of the Great Orient.

They say they believe a major foreign organisation was responsible.

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