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 US consulate in Turkey targeted as wave of attacks kills nine

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PostSubject: US consulate in Turkey targeted as wave of attacks kills nine   US consulate in Turkey targeted as wave of attacks kills nine EmptyTue 11 Aug 2015, 9:10 am

Two women were shot at the US consulate in Istanbul and at least nine people were killed in a wave of separate attacks on Turkish security forces, weeks after Ankara launched a crackdown on Islamic State, Kurdish and far-left militants.

The NATO member has been in a heightened state of alert since starting its "synchronised war on terror" last month, including air strikes against Islamic State fighters in Syria and Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in northern Iraq. It has also rounded up hundreds of suspected militants at home.

A far-left group that killed a Turkish security guard in a 2013 suicide bombing of the US embassy in Ankara claimed it was involved in today’s attack.

The Revolutionary People's Liberation Army-Front (DHKP-C), considered a terrorist organisation by the United States and Turkey, said one of its members was involved, and called Washington the "arch enemy" of the people of the Middle East and the world.

Turkey's foreign ministry condemned the attack and said security at US diplomatic missions was being tightened. Police with automatic rifles cordoned off streets around the US consulate in the Sariyer district on the European side of Istanbul.

Ahmet Akcay, a resident who witnessed the attack, told Reuters that one of the women fired four or five rounds, aiming at security officials and consulate officers.

"Police were shouting 'drop your bag, drop your bag'. And the woman was saying: 'I will not surrender'," Akcay said.

"The police warned her again: 'Drop your bag or we will have to shoot you', and the woman said: 'Shoot.'"

One of the two women was later captured wounded, the Istanbul governor's office said.

The Dogan news agency said the injured woman was aged 51 and had served prison time for being a suspected member of the DHKP-C. Reuters could not immediately verify the report.

"We are working with Turkish authorities to investigate the incident. The Consulate General remains closed to the public until further notice," a consulate official said.

The attack came a day after the U.S. sent six F-16 fighter jets and about 300 personnel to Incirlik Air Base in Turkey as part of coalition efforts to fight Islamic State.

No US personnel were injured and the consulate will be open for business on Tuesday, State Department spokesman John Kirby said in Washington. He declined to comment on any specific security measures being taken.

On the other side of Istanbul, a vehicle laden with explosives was used to attack a police station, injuring three police officers and seven civilians, police said.

One of the attackers was killed during the bombing, while two others and a police officer died in a subsequent fire fight, the Istanbul governor's office said.

Broadcaster CNN Turk said the officer was a senior member of the bomb squad who had been sent to investigate the attack.

Shooting continued into Monday morning in the Sultanbeyli district on the Asian side of the Bosphorus waterway, which divides Istanbul, as police carried out raids.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for either of the attacks, but U.S. diplomatic missions and police stations have been targeted by far-left groups in Turkey in the past.

The DHKP-C, whose members are among those detained in recent weeks, claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at the U.S. embassy in Ankara in 2013 which killed a Turkish security guard.

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