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At least nine dead in bomb and gun attacks in Turkey

By AP Reporters

A series of bomb and gun attacks across Turkey has left at least nine people dead, including six members of the security forces.

Two women opened fire at the heavily protected US consulate in Istanbul, while assailants exploded a car bomb at a police station then fired on police inspecting the scene.

Meanwhile, in the south-east 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, as Turkey has attacked PKK targets in Iraq in tandem with airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria.

One of the consulate attackers was later shot and taken into custody in a nearby building and taken to hospital. The far-left Revolutionary People's Liberation Army-Front, 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 co-operated in the past, though there was no immediate indication of PKK involvement in this attack.

The second woman is 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-storey building. The suspected bomber was killed during the explosion, according to the Istanbul governor's office.

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 organisations, including the PKK, the DHKP-C and extremists of Islamic State.

Turkey has recently started taking a more active role against IS militants. Last month it conducted aerial strikes against IS positions in Syria and agreed to let the US-led coalition use its bases for its fight against IS.

In further violence yesterday, Kurdish rebels 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.

Belfast Telegraph


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