Europe

Turkish official: Mastermind of Feb "terror attack" killed

  • In this frame grab taken from Rustavi2 footage dated 2012, Akhmed Chatayev speaks to the media in Tbilisi, Georgia. The Chechen extremist Chatayev is identified as the mastermind behind the triple suicide bombing at Turkey's Istanbul airport that killed at least 44 people, according to U.S. congressman Michael McCaul, while noting Chatayev's whereabouts is unclear. (Georgian broadcasting company Rustavi2, AP video via AP)

    In this frame grab taken from Rustavi2 footage dated 2012, Akhmed Chatayev speaks to the media in Tbilisi, Georgia. The Chechen extremist Chatayev is identified as the mastermind behind the triple suicide bombing at Turkey's Istanbul airport that killed at least 44 people, according to U.S. congressman Michael McCaul, while noting Chatayev's whereabouts is unclear. (Georgian broadcasting company Rustavi2, AP video via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Police officers monitor busy traffic at the entrance of the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Thursday, June 30, 2016. A senior Turkish official said the three suicide bombers who carried out  the Tuesday night attack on Ataturk Airport, were from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, and police raided neighborhoods looking for suspects linked to the Islamic State group. Tuesday's gunfire and suicide bombing attack at Ataturk Airport killed dozens and injured over 200. Turkish authorities have banned distribution of images relating to the Ataturk airport attack within Turkey. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

    Police officers monitor busy traffic at the entrance of the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Thursday, June 30, 2016. A senior Turkish official said the three suicide bombers who carried out the Tuesday night attack on Ataturk Airport, were from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, and police raided neighborhoods looking for suspects linked to the Islamic State group. Tuesday's gunfire and suicide bombing attack at Ataturk Airport killed dozens and injured over 200. Turkish authorities have banned distribution of images relating to the Ataturk airport attack within Turkey. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)  (The Associated Press)

  • Family, friends and officers follow the ambulance carrying the coffin of the head of the pediatric service at the Tunis military hospital, Col. Fathi Bayoudh, one of the victims killed Tuesday at the blasts in Istanbul's Ataturk airport, during his funeral in Ksour Essaf, southern Tunisia, Friday, July 1, 2016. A Tunisian town has buried a military doctor killed in this week’s Islamic State attack on Istanbul as he tried to extract his son from the extremist group’s grasp. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)

    Family, friends and officers follow the ambulance carrying the coffin of the head of the pediatric service at the Tunis military hospital, Col. Fathi Bayoudh, one of the victims killed Tuesday at the blasts in Istanbul's Ataturk airport, during his funeral in Ksour Essaf, southern Tunisia, Friday, July 1, 2016. A Tunisian town has buried a military doctor killed in this week’s Islamic State attack on Istanbul as he tried to extract his son from the extremist group’s grasp. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)  (The Associated Press)

As Turkey continues to investigate the Istanbul airport bombing and track down suspects, a Turkish official says the mastermind of an earlier suicide bombing has been killed.

The official said Friday Mehmet Sirin Kaya was killed by security forces in the town of Lice in the mainly Kurdish province of Diyarbakir.

The Feb. 17 suicide attack against military personnel in Ankara killed 29 people and was claimed by an offshoot of the Kurdistan Worker's Party, or PKK, which Turkey considers a terrorist organization.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government protocol.

Turkey is still reeling from the triple suicide bombing attack at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport earlier this week that killed 44 people. The Islamic State group is the main suspect for that attack.