Shots were fired at the US consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, by two assailants. Two women reportedly opened fire at the US embassy in Turkey on Monday morning. Fellow assailants reportedly set off a car bomb at a police station, and then began firing on the officers at the scene.
The shots fired at the US consulate occurred during a day of intense violent attack in Istanbul — Turkey’s largest city. The roadside bomb killed four police officers in the southeastern region of the nation, and a group of Kurdish rebels were attacked by a helicopter. The recent wave of violence is believed to have been sparked by clashes between Turkish security officers and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) rebels.
One of the women who allegedly fired shots on the US consulate was reportedly captured inside a nearby building and has been hospitalized. The Revolutionary People’s Liberation Army-Front, or DHKP-C, identified the US embassy in Istanbul attack suspect Hatice Asik. The 51-year-old woman reportedly stated that she was a member of the DHKP-C. The group has not directly claimed responsibility for the consulate attack. Both the DHKP-C and the PKK reportedly have “Marxist origins” and have been known to work together in the past.
The second US consulate attack suspect remains at large in Turkey.
Hours earlier, an overnight bomb attack at a police station in Istanbul injured three policemen and seven civilians and caused a fire that collapsed part of the three-story building. Unknown assailants later fired on police inspecting the scene of the explosion, sparking another gunfight with police that killed a member of the inspection team and two assailants. There was no immediate responsibility claim for that attack.
Last month Turkish officials detained more than 1,000 individuals suspected of links to PKK, the DHKP-C, and other “banned” ISIS extremist groups.
Beginning in the 1970s, the DHKP-C has reportedly claimed responsibility for a host of bombings and assassinations. The United States government as designated the group as a terrorist organization. The group also claimed to have been behind a 2013 suicide attack on the US embassy in Ankara — a Turkish guard was killed in the attack.
The Monday morning terrorist attack is being jointly investigated by both Turkish and American officials. The Istanbul consulate will remain closed to the public for the immediate future.
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