Police station, US consulate in Istanbul come under attack

Istanbul: Turkey’s largest city Istanbul was today shaken by twin attacks on the US consulate and a police station as tensions spiral amid the government’s air campaign against Kurdish militants.

A suspected suicide bomber detonated a vehicle packed with explosives at a police station in the Sultanbeyli district on the Asian side of Istanbul just after midnight, wounding ten people, three of them police, the official Anatolia news agency reported.

Clashes with police then continued throughout the night as other militants fired on the police station.

In the early morning, two militants were killed by the police but their political affiliation was not made clear.

One policeman was also killed in the clashes, NTV television said, but this was not confirmed officially.

Meanwhile, two armed individuals early today launched a gun attack against the well fortified US consulate in the quiet district of Istinye on the Bosphorus on the outskirts of Istanbul, Turkish television reported.

An operation was launched to capture the two militants, one of whom was a woman. One of the attackers — reportedly the female — was later captured wounded, Turkish media said.

Neither media nor the authorities indicated who may have carried out the attacks.

But they came amid rising tensions on Turkey’s streets as the government presses on with a campaign against militants of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Turkey and northern Iraq.

Ankara has also targeted the Islamic State (IS) group in the crackdown, but to a much lesser extent.

The PKK has claimed over 20 killings of police and security forces in Turkey over the last two weeks as retaliation for the air strikes against it.

The state-run Anatolia news agency said over the weekend that so far 390 “terrorists” have been killed in the air campaign in Turkey and northern Iraq with 400 wounded. (AFP)

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