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Turkish Forces Storm Ferry, Kill Hijacker

Officials in Turkey say commandos have stormed a hijacked ferry and shot dead a hijacker.

Officials said none of the 18 passengers or crew members was hurt during the raid early on November 12 off the coast near Istanbul.

Istanbul Province Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu said officials believe the hijacker was a member of the Kurdistan Workers Party.

He added that officials were still trying to verify whether or not the hijacker possessed a bomb, as the hijacker was said to have claimed.

Earlier, officials said as many as five members of the Kurdistan Workers Party had seized the "Kartepe" ferry on the evening of November 11 after it set sail from the northwestern port of Izmit.

The Kurdistan Workers Party is fighting for autonomy in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast and has recently escalated its attacks on Turkish forces, triggering retaliatory air and ground offensives by Turkey's military targeting militant hideouts in neighboring Iraq.

compiled from agency reports