WASHINGTON (Sep. 8)
President Reagan has sent messages to the Presidents of Israel and Turkey expressing the “sympathy of the American people” over the terrorist attack on Istanbul’s largest synagogue Saturday in which 21 worshippers were killed and four were wounded.
State Department spokesman Bernard Kalb, in announcing Monday that the messages had been sent, repeated the Department’s condemnation of the attack and “its shock at the terrible loss of life.”
“There can be no justification for this brutal and indiscriminate attack,” Kalb said. “Attacks, such as this, deserve the condemnation of all civilized countries.”
Kalb said that the United States does not know which “particular terrorist group or country” was responsible for the attack. The U.S. also does not know which group carried out the hijacking of the Pan American plane in Karachi, Pakistan, last week.
However, the four terrorists captured in Karachi are Palestinians, as are believed to have been the two terrorists who died while throwing hand grenades and firing submachine guns in the Istanbul synagogue. President Mohammed Zia of Pakistan said Monday that he had good relations with the Palestinians, particularly Yasir Arafat, head of the PLO.
But Kalb said that the U.S. has “confidence” that Pakistan would carry out the prosecution of the hijackers. Zia said the hijackers would be tried, noting that Pakistan’s law carries the death penalty for terrorism.