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Istanbul hit by gunfire and bomb blast


Two assailants have opened fire at the US consulate building in Istanbul and engaged in a gunfight with security personnel, only hours after a bomb attack on a police station in another part of the city, according to local media reports.

Turkish media said no consulate staff members were hurt in the attack in the Sariyer district, while at least ten people, including seven police officers, were wounded in the blast at the police station in the Sultanbeyli district.

Both attacks occurred on Monday morning. One of the assailants of the attack at the consulate, a female who was wounded during the shoot-out with police, was later captured by in an apartment nearby, media said, adding that police was searching for a second suspect, who was reportedly male.

Meanwhile, two suspected police station attackers and a police officer were killed in an exchange of fire at another point of the city later in the morning.

A vehicle laden with explosives was used in the attack that targeted the police station at approximately 1am, police said, adding that a fire following the blast collapsed part of the three-storey building.

In a separate incident, four military members died in their vehicle in a mine blast in the southeastern province of Sirnak, Turkish media reports said.

Since last month, Turkey’s forces have been conducting air strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) positions in Syria and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) targets in Iraq.

Ankara also agreed to let the US-led coalition use its bases for its fight against ISIL.

The move came after a suicide bombing blamed on ISIL, which killed 32 people, and an increase in the PKK attacks in the country.

US diplomatic missions have been targeted in Turkey in the past.

The far-leftist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Army-Front claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at the US embassy in Ankara in 2013, which killed a Turkish security guard.