Two attackers open fire on US consulate in Istanbul
ISTANBULTwo assailants opened fire on the United States consulate building in Istanbul on Aug. 10, fleeing the scene when police shot back. One of the assailants, a woman, was captured in a building where she took shelter.
Two assailants, later identified as two women by the Istanbul Governor’s Office, attacked the well-guarded U.S. Consulate in Istanbul’s Sarıyer district, but no casualties were reported, according to the Doğan News Agency.
One of the assailants, later defined as Hatice Aşık, a member of the outlawed far-leftist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Army-Front (DHKP-C) by the state-run Anadolu Agency, was seized inside a house close to the consulate, which she had entered in order to hide from the police.
Aşık was reported to have been discharged from prison on July 8, after being imprisoned for membership of the DHKP-C.
The DHKP-C’s website claimed responsibility for the attack on the U.S. Consulate and also acknowledged the attacker to be Aşık, Agence-France Press reported.
The Istanbul Governor’s Office said in a statement that two women assailants had attacked the U.S. Consulate at around 7.00 a.m. on Aug. 10. A long barreled weapon and ammunition was later captured by security forces, along with Aşık. The woman, who was seized injured, was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was being treated amid high security measures as the Hürriyet Daily News went to press.
The U.S. Embassy in Ankara announced via its Twitter page on Aug. 10 that the consulate would be closed to the public on the day of the attack but the embassy in Ankara was still open for business.
“This morning’s security incident in Istanbul resulted in no injuries to Consulate personnel or customers.
While the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul is closed today, the U.S. Embassy in Ankara is open for business,” the U.S. Embassy in Ankara’s Tweet read. “The Embassy remains in routine and regular contact with Turkish law enforcement and security agencies.”
The U.S. Consulate in Istanbul issued a security message for its citizens in the country.
“We urge individuals to please avoid that area for the time being. The U.S. Consulate is closed to the public today, Aug. 10, 2015. Please monitor the news for further developments and maintain security awareness,” the statement read.
“U.S. citizens are reminded to exercise caution in the vicinity of large gatherings, as even peaceful gatherings can turn confrontational … Maintain a high level of vigilance, take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security, and follow instructions of local authorities,” it added.
The U.S. diplomatic missions in Turkey have been subject to attacks in the past, with the last one being in 2013.
The DHKP-C had claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at the U.S. embassy in Ankara in February 2013, which led to the death of a Turkish security guard and the wounding of other Turkish citizens who were entering the consulate building.