Turkey releases bird suspected of spying for Israel

July 28, 2013 at 8:42 AM

ISTANBUL, Turkey, July 28 (UPI) -- Turkish authorities released a kestrel they suspected was spying for Israel after determining it carried no surveillance equipment, officials said.

Villagers in Altinayva caught the small falcon and discovered it had a metal ring on its foot with the inscription of "24311 Tel Avivunia Israel," the Milliyet newspaper said.

The villagers handed the bird over to local authorities.

Suspecting the bird had been sent by Israel's intelligence agency the Mossad, the bird underwent x-rays at a hospital which determined it was not carrying microchips, bugging devices or other surveillance equipment, the Turkish daily said. It was later set free.

In May last year, the BBC reported a dead bee-eater bird found by Turkish villagers in Gaziantep with a metal ring stamped Israel, also raised suspicions of spying and it was taken by authorities for inspection.

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