Sunday 22 April 2018

Police kill woman carrying bomb

Police officers stand guard after two leftist militants attacked Istanbul Security headquarters (AP)
Police officers stand guard after two leftist militants attacked Istanbul Security headquarters (AP)

In a second evening of violence in Istanbul, police have killed a woman carrying a bomb near the city's main police headquarters, an official said.

Istanbul governor Vasip Sahin also said that a second person escaped and that a policeman was slightly injured. It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack.

The incident follows a deadly hostage situation yesterday, when a prosecutor and two gunmen holding him at an Istanbul courthouse were killed in a shootout between police and the assailants.

Following services for the slain prosecutor, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu pledged to track down accomplices, saying the two gunmen were making phone calls abroad during the six-hour standoff.

Authorities believe the two assailants belonged to a banned left-wing group, DHKP-C.

Mr Davutoglu did not name the country linked to the phone calls, but said the government would release more information as its investigation went on.

"I gave the orders for all sorts of operations against whoever perpetrated the incident, wherever they may be," Mr Davutoglu said. "No-one should think that the attack will go without a response."

"We shall find out where the order came from. We will investigate who is behind this network," he added.

The slain prosecutor, Mehmet Selim Kiraz, was investigating the death of a teenager hit by a police gas canister during nationwide anti-government protests in 2013.

The hostage-takers had made five demands, including demanding that the police held responsible for the teenager's killing confess to the death and be tried by "peoples' courts".

Police in the southern city of Antalya meanwhile, detained 19 people suspected of belonging to DHKP-C, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

The agency said the suspects, many of them students, were being interrogated by anti-terrorism police. Ten other suspects were detained in the cities of Izmir and Eskisehir, it said.

The DHKP-C, which seeks a socialist state, is considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the European Union and the US. The group has carried out sporadic attacks, including a suicide bombing on the US Embassy in 2013 that killed a security guard. The group was more active in the 1970s.

Mr Davutoglu, speaking in Istanbul after joining thousands of other mourners for Mr Kiraz's funeral, said the hostage incident aimed to create chaos ahead of Turkey's June 7 general election.

He criticised opposition parties for not taking part in the funeral and said the courthouse would be renamed in honour of the prosecutor.

Separately, police overpowered an armed man who stormed the ruling party's office in Istanbul, forced employees out and shouted slogans against the party. No-one was hurt in the incident.

Press Association

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