Turkish daily targeted in petrol bomb attack


Three youngsters hurled a petrol bomb into the garden of a Turkish anti-government newspaper's offices in Istanbul in an attack that caused no damage or injuries, the Anatolia news agency said Sunday.

One of the assailants, a 13-year-old, was caught by security guards shortly after the attack against the daily Cumhuriyet's offices in Sisli on the city's European side, the newspaper's administrative official Ali Edeoglu told Anatolia.

The petrol bomb landed in the garden and caused a small fire which was put out by guards, he said.

"The attack which took place around midnight was carried out by three youngsters, mere kids," Edeoglu said.

The attacker who was caught and handed to police "said he had been told to carry out the attack", Edeoglu added, but gave no further details.

Cumhuriyet newspaper is a staunch supporter of Turkey's strictly secular system and one of the most vocal critics of the ruling Justice and Development Party, which secularists accuse of having a secret agenda to introduce religious rule.

Cumhuriyet was targeted in three hand grenade attacks in May 2006, which caused no casualties, just a few days before an Islamist militant killed a judge and wounded four others in Turkey's top administrative court out of anger for rulings upholding a ban on the Islamic headscarf.

The main suspect of the court attack, who was jailed for life last month, confessed to organising the grenade attacks against Cumhuriyet in retaliation for a cartoon published in the daily of a pig wearing a headscarf.

According to the Turkish press, police are currently investigating whether the court attack was the work of a shadowy ultra-nationalist grouping which reportedly planned unrest and political violence in a bid to discredit and eventually topple the government. (AFP)