Police were questioning an escaped convict with suspected ties to right-wing extremist groups to determine why he tried to assassinate Prime Minister Turgut Ozal, wounding him in the hand as he addressed a party conference.

Ozal, 61, was fired at Saturday while speaking to a convention of his ruling Motherland Party. He was wounded in his right thumb and one bullet just barely missed his head. Police immediately arrested the gunman.Ozal's assailant was identified by police as Kartal Demiras, 32, who was injured in the leg during the assassination attempt. Police said Demiras was injured in a suicide attempt, but Turkish press reports said security forces shot him.

Police Sunday did not blame any group or identify a motive behind the assassination attempt.

Demiras, convicted of murder three years ago, escaped after serving part of a 10-year sentence. Police said he was known to participate in right-wing extremist activities, but his exact motives remain unclear.

Police speculated Saturday that a group calling itself the Thracian Turks Culture and Solidarity Society may have planned the attack.

The group represents the Turkish ethnic minority in Greece.