Two people, believed to be members of the radical left-wing militant group in Turkey known as the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), were arrested for allegedly launching an attack on Wednesday with guns and explosives near the prime minister’s palace in Istanbul.
The Istanbul governor’s office said the two suspected attackers “hurled a hand grenade” at the Dolmabahce Palace, a prominent tourist attraction that houses offices of Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, “and fired shots at police officers who stand on ceremonial guard outside the Ottoman-era palace,” reports The Telegraph.
“The attack heightened a sense of crisis in the country as the leaders of Turkey struggle to form a new government amid increasing clashes with Kurdish militants and threats of violence from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL/ISIS],” it adds.
A policeman was injured in the attack. Anonymous sources told the state-run Anadolu news agency that the assailants were arrested near the German Consulate in Gumussuyu neighborhood in Besiktas district.
“[The] police [department] is on the lookout for at least one more suspect,” reports Anadolu. “Police said they believed the suspects are members to the far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).”
In a statement, the Istanbul governor’s office reportedly noted that police officers were able to seize two grenades and other weapons from the scene of the attack.
“The attackers are believed to be the same who carried out an armed attack against the Justice and Development (AK) Party Istanbul headquarters in Beyoglu district on Aug. 8, 2015,” added the statement.
PM Davutoglu was reportedly giving a live speech on television from Ankara, the capital of Turkey, as reports of the shooting emerged. The speech was not interrupted.
In a separate attack, the Turkish military reportedly said that alleged “militants from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) killed eight soldiers with a roadside bomb in the south-eastern province of Siirt … intensifying a conflict there after the breakdown of a two-year ceasefire last month,” reports The Telegraph.
“After a terror attack in southern Turkey last month by an [ISIL]-linked suicide bomber, the government has begun ‘anti-terror’ offensive against the extremists, but the state has focused largely on targeting Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants,” it continues.
Since July, nearly 100 people, mainly police officers and soldiers, have reportedly been killed in renewed clashes between Turkish security troops and the PKK.
Meanwhile, “more than 2,500 people have been detained in raids targeting suspected members of the PKK, [ISIL], and DHKP-C,” notes The Telegraph.