At least 3 dead af­ter day of vi­o­lence rocks Tur­key’s largest city

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY LEF­TERIS PITARAKIS AND SUZAN FRASER

Two women opened fire at the heav­ily pro­tected U.S. Con­sulate in Is­tan­bul Mon­day, while as­sailants ex­ploded a car bomb at a po­lice sta­tion then fired on po­lice in­spect­ing the scene, in a day of heavy vi­o­lence in Tur­key’s largest city.

In the south­east of the coun­try a road­side bomb killed four po­lice, and Kur­dish rebels at­tacked a he­li­copter, killing a con­script. There has been a re­cent sharp spike in vi­o­lence be­tween Tur­key’s se­cu­rity forces and rebels of the Kur­dis­tan Work­ers’ Party, or PKK.

One of the con­sulate at­tack­ers was later cap­tured in­jured in a nearby build­ing and hos­pi­tal­ized. The far-left Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion ArmyFront, or DHKP-C, iden­ti­fied her as 51-year-old Hat­ice Asik, and said she was a mem­ber of the group, though it did not di­rectly claim re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tack. The DHKP-C and the PKK both have Marx­ist ori­gins and have co­op­er­ated in the past.

The sec­ond woman was still be­ing hunted. There were no other ca­su­al­ties.

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.

Tur­key last month car­ried out a ma­jor se­cu­rity sweep, de­tain­ing some 1,300 peo­ple sus­pected of links to banned or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing the PKK, the DHKP-C and ex­trem­ists of the Is­lamic State group.

Also Mon­day, Kur­dish rebels in the south­east­ern province of Sir­nak fired at a he­li­copter car­ry­ing con­scripts who ei­ther had fin­ished their term of duty or were tak­ing leave, killing one of them and in­jur­ing another, the mil­i­tary said. Four po­lice were also killed in Sir­nak province when their ar­mored ve­hi­cle was at­tacked with a road­side bomb, the Do­gan news agency re­ported.

The DHKP- C, which has claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for as­sas­si­na­tions and bomb­ings since the 1970s, has been des­ig­nated a ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion by the United States. It claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for a 2013 sui­cide at­tack on the U.S. Em­bassy in Ankara, which killed a Turk­ish se­cu­rity guard.

The U.S. Em­bassy said U.S. of­fi­cials were work­ing with Turk­ish author­i­ties to in­ves­ti­gate the in­ci­dent. The con­sulate would re­main closed to the public un­til fur­ther no­tice, it said.

AFP

A Turk­ish spe­cial force po­lice of­fi­cer is pic­tured dur­ing clashes with at­tack­ers on Mon­day, Aug. 10 in the Sul­tan­beyli dis­trict in Is­tan­bul.

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