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      US Consulate Hit As Multiple Attacks Rock Turkey

      US Consulate Hit As Multiple Attacks Rock Turkey US Consulate Hit As Multiple Attacks Rock Turkey US Consulate Hit As Multiple Attacks Rock Turkey
      Police run for cover during a gunfight near the site of an explosion at a police station in Istanbul's Sultanbeyli neighborhood. Photo by Akin Celiktas/AP


      US Consulate Hit As Multiple Attacks Rock Turkey

      By John Beck

      Violence flared in Turkey on Monday as gunmen opened fire on the US consulate in Istanbul, hours after a car bombing elsewhere in the city and the killing of five members of the security forces in the country's southeast. 

      The consulate attack began when two assailants, reported to be a man and a woman, shot at the building in the northern Sariyer district before fleeing when police returned fire. The woman has now been apprehended, according to local media. 

      Earlier, an explosive-laden vehicle was detonated at a police station in the Sultanbeyli area of the city, causing it to catch fire and partially collapse. At least ten people were injured in the blast, including three members of the police, state-run Anadolu Agency said, adding that militants later fired on officers at the scene, fatally wounding one officer. Police killed two of the gunmen in resultant clashes. 

      There have been no claims of responsibility for either attack and it is unclear if they are linked, but the violence comes after Turkey launched a two-pronged "war on terror" that officials say is focused on the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and so-called Islamic State (IS). The extreme left Revolutionary People's Liberation Army-Front (DHKP-C), which carried out a 2013 suicide bombing at the US Embassy in Ankara, has also been targeted in the campaign. 

      Meanwhile, four policemen were killed and one injured in southeastern Sirnak province by a remote-detonated roadside bomb on Monday. A soldier was also killed when militants fired on a military helicopter nearby, the regional governor's office said in a statement, adding that a "large scale operation" to catch the perpetrators is now underway. 

      A statement from the Turkish armed forces confirmed the helicopter attack, adding that the soldier had been critically injured before dying in hospital, and offering condolences to his family. 

      The Sirnak governor's office blamed the PKK for both incidents. The group has killed several members of the security forces since Ankara began a major air campaign against the group after it assassinated two police officers following a suicide bombing on July 20 in the border town of Suruc that left 33 pro-Kurdish activists dead. 

      The bomber was trained by IS, but the PKK blamed the security forces for laxity or collusion, claiming the murdered officers had been working with the jihadists. 

      Turkey has launched just one airstrike on IS since they began last month, but it recently gave permission for aircraft from the US-led coalition bombing IS to operate from its strategic Incirlik air base in the south. Six American F-16 attack jets arrived at Incirlik on Sunday along with support equipment and around 300 personnel, US European Command said.

      Topics: turkey, islamic state, pkk, dhkp-c, incirlik, istanbul, war & conflict, europe, kurdish


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