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54 held in raids on Marxist group


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DHKP-C was blamed for a cafe bombing in Ankara last May.

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(CNN) -- In coordinated operations across Europe, police have arrested 54 people with ties to a Marxist group connected to bombings primarily in Turkey, Turkey's Interior Ministry said.

According Turkish officials, 38 suspects were arrested in Turkey, and another 16 were taken into custody in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Greece and Italy.

One person was killed in an Italian raid.

Authorities said those arrested were members of a Turkish Marxist organization, known as the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).

Turkish officials have blamed the DHKP-C for a cafe bombing in Ankara last May that killed one woman, believed to be a suicide bomber, and wounded another woman.

A suicide attack targeting a police station in January 2001 that killed a police officer and the bomber is also blamed on the group.

Police in Perugia, Italy arrested three Italians -- two women and a man -- as well as a Turkish man and woman as part of an operation that began at 2 a.m. on Thursday (0000 GMT). No other details were immediately available.

"These arrests are conducted in connection with international terrorism," a police source in Perugia told CNN.

Police said the Italians were part of a local cell of DHKP-C.

CNN Rome Bureau Chief Alessio Vinci contributed to this report.


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