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    Aug 11, 2015

    Istanbul hit by twin terror attacks


    TWO women launched a gun attack at the United States Consulate in Istanbul yesterday and at least eight people were killed in a wave of attacks on Turkish security forces, weeks after Ankara launched a crackdown on Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), 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 ISIS fighters in Syria and Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants in northern Iraq. It has also rounded up hundreds of suspected militants at home.

    Police officers armed with automatic rifles cordoned off streets around the US Consulate in the Sariyer district on the European side of Istanbul, following the attack there.

    Ahmet Akcay, a local 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'. The woman said: 'I will not surrender'," the resident 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 been jailed for being a suspected member of the far-leftist Revolutionary People's Liberation Army-Front (DHKP-C), which is anti-American and is listed as a terrorist organisation by the US and Turkey.

    The banned DHKP-C yesterday said on its website that one of its female militants carried out the attack on the US Consulate.

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

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

    The Turkish authorities said the outlawed PKK was behind the suicide bombing and gun attack on the Istanbul police station.

    Four Turkish police officers were also killed in a roadside bomb attack - in the south-eastern Silopi district of Sirnak province, bordering Iraq and Syria - blamed on Kurdish militants, the Turkish media said.

    Meanwhile, in a separate incident, one Turkish soldier was killed when Kurdish militants attacked a military helicopter with rocket launchers as it was transporting personnel in Sirnak's Beytussebap district, the Dogan news agency said.