Two suspects have been arrested after gunmen attacked a security post near Dolmabahce Palace in central Istanbul, according to reports.
One police officer was slightly injured in the assault and authorities are still hunting for at least one other suspect, Turkish Anadolu Agency said. The Ottoman-era building is a popular tourist attraction and also houses the prime minister's offices in Turkey's largest city. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was in the capital of Ankara at the time of the attack.
Grenades, an automatic rifle, pistol, and ammunition were also recovered at the scene, the Istanbul Governor's Office said in a statement. It blamed a "terrorist group" for the attack and said the perpetrators were also believed to be responsible for an armed assault on the Istanbul headquarters of the ruling Justice and Development Party earlier in the month.
Armed police guarding Dolmabace Palace after the attack. Photo by John Beck
Security sources told Anadolu that the banned Marxist-Leninist Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) were thought to be responsible. A DHKP-C suspect was arrested in January for launching a similar attack on guards outside the palace.
Ambulances were quickly dispatched to the area in the aftermath of the incident and armed police sealed off approach roads. Traffic in the area was allowed to continue fairly soon afterwards, although all pedestrian access past the building remained blocked and tourists milled around among local residents hoping to return to their homes.
Turkey launched a two-pronged "war on terror" last month focused primarily on launching airstrikes on the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and to a lesser extent the so-called Islamic State. It has also targeted DHKP-C suspects in a programme of sweeping arrests, however, and a suspected member of the group was killed in a shootout with police in July.
Police and medical personnel arrive at Dolmabahce Palace after the attack. Photo by John Beck
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