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Arrest over Turkey synagogue blast

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Police took the suspect to the scene of the attack.

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Turkish police arrest man they say admits role in deadly synagogue bombing
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Beth Israel synagogue

ISTANBUL, Turkey (CNN) -- Turkish police say they have arrested a man who they say has admitted a role in the deadly suicide bombing of a synagogue in Istanbul.

Deputy Chief of Police Halil Yilmaz said the suspect, whose name was not released, admitted giving the direct order to the suicide bombers to attack Beth Israel synagogue on November 15.

That attack, and a simultaneous suicide bombing at another Istanbul synagogue, killed 23 people.

Five days later, 31 people died in twin suicide bombings on British targets in Istanbul.

Yilmaz said the man, who was not identified, had been arrested Tuesday in the eastern Turkish town of Agri.

Saturday morning, police took the suspect to the scene of the Beth Israel attack.

At the scene, Yilmaz said the suspect described in detail how the attack took place.

Police were able to arrest the man after identifying him as the owner of the vehicle used in the bombing, which was purchased with a fake identification, Yilmaz said.

They believed he was going to use the fake passport to flee to neighboring Iran.

Police said the man admitting going to the site of the attack with the suicide bombers to gather intelligence hours before giving the go-ahead for the bombing.

As part of the ongoing investigation into the string of bombings, police Saturday arrested six additional people, Yilmaz said.

Earlier this week, a Turkish court officially charged two people accused by police of "assisting an illegal organization" in the November 20 bombings of the British consulate and the Istanbul offices of the London-based bank HSBC.

As a result of the assistance given an unnamed illegal organization, the court said, those two were charged with "the crime of aiding to overthrow the constitutional order."

Dozens of others are being questioned in relation to the attacks.

CNN Correspondent Mike Boettcher in Istanbul contributed to this report


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