At least 12 arrested in al-Qaeda raids in Turkey

At least 12 arrested in al-Qaeda raids in TurkeyAnkara - Turkish police on Tuesday arrested at least 12 people suspected of links to al-Qaeda in operations in three Turkish provinces, the NTV private television station reported.

The suspects were arrested in dawn raids on homes in the central Anatolian city of Konya and in the south-eastern Turkey provinces of Sanliurfa and Gaziantep.

Gaziantep was the scene in January last year for a shootout between militant Islamists with links to al-Qaeda and police that resulted in the deaths of one police officer and four militants.

A Turkish cell of al-Qaeda was blamed for carrying out the bombing of two synagogues, the British consulate and a HSBC bank in Istanbul in 2003, killing more than 60 and leaving hundreds injured.