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Turkish acting army chief says 104 coup plotters killed, 1,563 soldiers detained

Editor: zhenglimin 丨Xinhua

07-16-2016 18:05 BJT

ANKARA/ISTANBUL, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Turkey's acting army chief Gen. Umit Dundar said Saturday that 104 coup plotters have been killed and 1,563 soldiers detained.

"We're determined to cleanse the army of a parallel structure," the chief said in a televised speech soon after he was promoted from the rank of 1st Army Commander to replace Gen. Hulusi Akar, who was taken hostage but later rescued in the coup attempt that swept the country on Friday night but was foiled by Saturday morning.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had earlier blamed the coup on the movement led by Turkey's Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen now living in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.

Ankara has been accusing the movement of running a parallel state and trying to topple the Turkish government.

"A military unrest has begun outside the chain of command around several cities of Turkey, mainly in Istanbul and Ankara," said Dundar.

"It has been understood that this unrest was an attempt of coup d'etat by a group of soldiers from different ranks who have nested inside the Turkish army," he added, noting that many commanders were taken to an unknown location.

The general spoke of the casualties inflicted upon the police, the army and the civilians.

"We have 90 casualties including 41 police and two soldiers," he noted.

"In Turkey the coup d'etat era is over in a way that it will not be opened again," he stated.

In remarks delivered early Saturday in Istanbul, Erdogan vowed to finish the operation against the military plotters, saying "Our army is clean and no one can harm it."

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