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Turkish aid group preps for Gaza aid convoy — with armed escort

A Turkish humanitarian aid group that organized the Mavi Marmara flotilla in 2010 is planning to launch another aid convoy to the Gaza Strip, but this time with an armed Turkish military escort.

According to a Gulf Online report published in English by The Middle East Monitor, IHH chairman Bulent Yildrim says that his organization has started the process for obtaining a permit to launch another aid flotilla to the Gaza Strip and that “Turkish army troops will accompany the ships to protect [them] from any potential attack.”

In May 2010, the Mavi Marmara was boarded by Israeli commandos as it attempted to break the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. In the ensuing melee with IHH members which Israel said were armed, nine Turkish activists were killed and ten Israeli soldiers injured, the UN reported.

Yildirim is cited saying that this time around, the IHH “demanded the government provide protection for them as Turkish citizens.”

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