Turkish Masonic Lodge Attacked
2 suicide attackers storm Masonic lodge in Turkey, killing 1, wounding 5
ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) _ Two suicide attackers stormed a Masonic lodge
Tuesday, opening fire with automatic weapons and setting off explosions
that killed one person and wounded five, officials said.
One of the attackers died and one was injured in the assault, which
comes months after four suicide bombings blamed on al-Qaida killed
dozens of people in Istanbul.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, said
Gov. Muammer Guler.
CNN-Turk television said a man chanted "Allah, Allah" before setting
off one of the explosions.
Police identified one of the injured, Abdullah Islam, as an attacker,
CNN-Turk reported, adding that he was being treated for wounds caused by
explosives strapped to his body.
"Two assailants shot the guard in his feet and raked the restaurant
of the lodge with gunfire, then detonated bombs," Guler told reporters.
"One terrorist and one waiter was killed. The second terrorist is
injured with his arm ripped off and his guts spilled out." About 40
people were eating in the restaurant at the time of the attack, Guler
Police cordoned off the area as ambulances and firefighters rushed to
the scene in the residential Kartal district. One of the wounded was
reported to be in critical condition, doctors said.
The Masons, a secretive society that traces its roots to medieval
craft associations, are active in this predominantly Muslim but strictly
Four suicide attacks against two synagogues, the British Consulate
and a British bank killed 62 people in Istanbul last year. Prosecutors
have indicted 69 people suspected of belonging to a local al-Qaida cell
in the case. Underground leftist and Kurdish groups also are active in
There are an estimated five million to six million Masons worldwide,
pledged to the principles of brotherliness, charity and mutual aid.
Masonic practices include oath-swearing, rituals and pledges of
secrecy, conducted in Masonic temples by officials wearing regalia.
Membership is by invitation, usually limited to professional men and
[Web-master's note:The Associated Press is
incorrect: membership is not by invitation, but by the
request of the would-be member.]
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