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U.S. cautions Turkey against going too far in search for coup plotters

A damaged window is pictured at the police headquarters in Ankara, Turkey, July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States cautioned Turkey on Monday against going too far as it tries to bring to justice those responsible for Friday’s attempted coup, and it said Ankara had not formally sought the extradition of a U.S.-based cleric it blamed for the attempt.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the United States had not made any assessment about whether U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen had any role in the attempted coup. He said as far as the State Department knew, Gulen was living peacefully in Pennsylvania.

Ankara has accused Gulen of masterminding the coup. Gulen, who has a wide following in Turkey, has denied any involvement. Toner said the United States would welcome a formal request for Gulen’s extradition from Turkey along with any evidence it had of his involvement.

Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Eric Beech