Terrorists claim leader's murder solved

ATHENS, Greece -- An anti-Turkish Armenian terrorist group Friday accused rival exile Armenians backed by 'an international conspiracy' of assassinating its leader last month.

The Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia, which has claimed responsibility for more than 50 terrorist bombings against Turkish interests around the world, said Hagop Hagopian 'was assassinated by Armenian elements working for an international conspiracy.'


Hagopian lost the respect of most of his colleagues and his organization split in two after an ASALA bomb attack at a Turkish Airlines counter at Orly Airport in Paris on July 15, 1983. The explosion killed six people and injured 90.

Hagopian, 35, was carrying a South Yemeni passport at the time of his murder in Greece April 28.

'Today, one month after his martyrdom, the dark faces of the assassins of Hagopian have become clear to the secret department of the ASALA,' said a caller claiming to speak for the group, which was founded in 1975 and counts 13 Turkish diplomats among its victims.

The caller said Hagopian's murderers 'walk freely the street of Athens' and asked the government to step up efforts to find the killers.

ASALA said it would disclose the identities of the killers 'and the entire picture of the international conspiracy at a news conference to be held in the near future in an Arab capital.'


The ASALA caller also said Hagopian was buried in Iraq, but his body would be moved to Soviet Armenia soon, 'according to his will.'

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