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Syria Gives Turkey Bomb Suspects

Syria on Sunday handed over to Turkish authorities 22 people suspected of involvement in Turkey's quadruple suicide bombings, including two central suspects in the blasts, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.

The suspects reportedly fled Turkey following the attacks in November on two synagogues, the British consulate and a British bank, which occurred within a week of one another and killed 61 people.

Citing a statement from paramilitary police, Anatolia said that the 22 people included Azat Ekinci, who had previously been named as a central figure in the attacks, as well as Hilmi Tuglaoglu, also identified as a central figure.

The suspects were being questioned, the statement added.

News reports have named Ekinci as a key accomplice in the synagogue bombings, saying he used fake identities and cash to buy the pickup trucks containing the bombs. The reports said Ekinci had traveled to Iran, received military and explosives training in Pakistan between 1997-99 and fought in Chechnya.

There were no details about Tuglaoglu's alleged involvement.

The report came amid signs of progress in the investigation.

On Saturday, a Turkish court charged another key suspect, whom police said was captured last week while trying to slip into Iran, with trying to overthrow Turkey's "constitutional order" — a crime equivalent to treason.

That man is accused of having given the order to carry out the Nov. 15 truck bombing of the Beth Israel synagogue.

Police have only identified the man by his initials, Y.P.; nearly all major Turkish newspapers said he was Yusuf Polat. The daily Radikal said Polat was born in 1974 in Turkey's southeastern province of Malatya.

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