A gunman Thursday shot dead an American citizen as he left his home near an air force base used by U.S. warplanes to fly attack missions against neighboring Iraq.
Police said Bobbie Mozelle, who worked at the Incirlik base, was shot four times in the heart and stomach as he left home in the nearby city of Adana.A military spokesman at Incirlik said the American worked for a company named Vinnell, Brown and Root which supplies contract workers to U.S. military installations in Turkey. "He is not an employee of the American government," he said.
The U.S. Embassy said Mozelle's family had been informed.
"I was walking by when a tall man walked past me," said one witness quoted by the semiofficial Anatolian news agency. "He fired four or five times at the American who was just about to get into his car."
Turkish television film showed the scene of the attack, a tree-lined residential street. The television also showed a passport-size photograph of the victim, a black man aged 44, from Detroit, Mich.
Since the United States and its allies went to war Jan. 17 to drive Iraq from Kuwait at least 72 revenge attacks have taken place around the world, killing four people.
Iraq has called on Moslems everywhere to wage a holy war against the United States and its allies.
If the The Adana killing was linked to the gulf war, it would be the first such attack in which an American civilian died. A Lebanese bank guard and two Peruvian guards have died in other attacks.
Assailants using bombs, guns, rockets, grenades or petrol have hit targets in Turkey, Lebanon, Greece, Peru, the Philippines, Yemen, Jordan, Malaysia, France, Spain, Cyprus, Israel, Pakistan, the United States and Saudi Arabia .
Police said the unidentified assailant fired at the American as he was leaving for work just after 7 a.m. The gunman then escaped on foot.
Police detained a taxi driver said to have taken the gunman to the American's house in the central Kurtulus district of the city, about six miles from Incirlik.
There were no immediate claims of responsibility, but the killing was the latest in a string of attacks in Turkey. A dozen bombs aimed at Western targets in the Turkish cities of Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir and Adana have slightly injured three people, all Turks, and damaged several buildings and cars.
An extreme left-wing Turkish group Dev-Sol (Revolutionary Left) claimed responsibility for most of the attacks, which included bomb blasts at the American consulate and the American-Turkish Cultural Association in Adana Jan. 26.