Shots fired outside American consulate in Istanbul by two attackers
Two attackers opened fire on the American consulate in Istanbul and fled when police returned fire, early Monday, Reuters reported. The report did not indicate whether anyone was harmed in the attack. On Sunday night, a bomb blast at an Istanbul police station injured five police officers and two civilians, and caused a fire that brought down part of the building, local media reported.
The attack, which targeted the police station in Istanbul’s Sultanbeyli neighborhood, also damaged nearby buildings and about 20 cars in the area, according to local reports cited by Al Jazeera. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes at a time of increased tensions amid attacks from extremists affiliated with the Islamic State group and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Reports did not indicate who was responsible or whether anyone was hurt in the attack on the U.S. consulate.
Last month, a suicide attack in Suruc — on the country’s Syrian border, which killed 32 people — was blamed on ISIS. Shortly after, Turkey stepped up its military response against both ISIS and the PKK. Kurdish activists and human rights groups have accused Ankara of using the campaign against the Islamic fundamentalist group as a cover for Turkey’s persecution of the country’s Kurdish minority.
PKK attacks over the weekend killed three police officers in multiple armed attacks, and officials said that the outlawed group had claimed 26 lives last month. Meanwhile, Turkish security forces said that a series of airstrikes in northern Iraq had killed 390 PKK members and injured 400.
Imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan also reportedly called on his organization and security forces to end ongoing clashes and resume peace negotiations, which broke down after the Suruc bombing.
“Our (PKK) fighters, leaders of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and the Turkish government’s officials failed to administer and commit themselves to the peace negotiations,” Ocalan said in a letter, according to Rudaw, a local news site.
Turkey’s airstrikes against Kurdish separatists has drawn international condemnation, with about 5,000 people gathering in the German city of Cologne to protest against the ongoing air raids in northern Iraq. Zubeyir Aydar of the Kurdistan Communities Union, who organized the march, accused President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of breaking a truce with the Kurds that had held since 2013.