Turkish pilots who downed Russian jet in custody for coup bid

Ankara, July 19 (IANS) At least two Turkish pilots involved in the downing of a Russian jet in November last year are in custody over the July 15 coup attempt, an official has said.

“Two pilots who were part of the operation to down the Russian Su-24 in November 2015 are in custody,” Xinhua news agency quoted a Turkish official as saying on Monday, adding that they were detained for being part of the coup attempt which left at least 232 people dead and over 2,000 injured.

The downing of the fighter jet on the Syrian border sparked an unprecedented diplomatic crisis between Turkey and Russia, which ended last month when the two countries agreed to restore ties.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on July 17, condemning the attempted coup and hoping for stability in the country.

The two Presidents are expected to meet in the first week of August, in their first face-to-face meeting since the rapprochement.

Turkey Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Monday said more than 7,500 people were detained over the coup attempt.

–IANS

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