Denktash warns of war risk

The Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, said yesterday that the Greek side of the island was risking war by locking the radar of its anti-aircraft missile batteries on Turkish warplanes. "You can't lock your missiles on our planes. If you are not careful this could mean war," Mr Denktash said.

The Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, said yesterday that the Greek side of the island was risking war by locking the radar of its anti-aircraft missile batteries on Turkish warplanes. "You can't lock your missiles on our planes. If you are not careful this could mean war," Mr Denktash said.

On Sunday, two Turkish warplanes entered Cypriot airspace near an air base outside the western coastal city of Paphos. The base was being used by Greek planes participating in annual military manoeuvres involving Greek and Cypriot ground, air and naval forces.

The Cypriot Defence Minister, Socrates Hasikos, confirmed yesterday that the radar on the Russian-made TOR-1 anti-aircraft missile batteries defending the base had locked on to the two planes and tracked them for several miles until they left the area.

Turkish planes had entered Cypriot airspace during the previous four days, in attempts to prevent Greek aircraft taking part in the exercises.

Cyprus has been divided into a Greek Cypriot-controlled south and the Turkishoccupied north since Turkeyinvaded in 1974. ( AP)

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