ANKARA: Turkish Police combed Turkey on Friday [March 5] for four US airmen kidnapped by Turkish Leftists against a backdrop of armed student revolt that has led to four gunshot deaths and dozens of injuries. Letters thought to be from the four airmen, and the wife of one of them, pleaded that a 400,000-dollar ransom be paid to spare the airmen from death before a militants firing squad at 0400 hours GMT today [March 6]. Two deaths [occurred] when students using dynamite and pistols ambushed troops trying to enter a dormitory at Middle East Technical University (METU) outside Ankara to search for the Americans and their abductors.

In another incident on Friday, a soldier and a civilian were killed when conservatives in the southern province of Hatay rioted to protest against Leftist movements. Amid the turnout, a Turkish Government source said ... the imposition of Martial Law is not out of the question. Police and troops had the situation at least temporarily under control after a day of disturbances in Ankara including students throwing bombs, firing on Police and conducting protest meetings. Four letters from the airmen in which they asked that the kidnappers’ demands be met were delivered ... to the US Ambassador....

Published in Dawn, March 7th, 2021

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