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Istanbul police kill two leftist female militants in standoff

ISTANBUL: In this image taken from Security Camera footage obtained by Turkish TV company DHA, showing two women as they attack police in Istanbul yesterday. The two women attacked the police with gunfire and a grenade Thursday and then fled the scene to hide inside a building before being killed by police, an official said. — AP
ISTANBUL: In this image taken from Security Camera footage obtained by Turkish TV company DHA, showing two women as they attack police in Istanbul yesterday. The two women attacked the police with gunfire and a grenade Thursday and then fled the scene to hide inside a building before being killed by police, an official said. — AP

ISTANBUL: Turkish police killed two female leftist militants who hurled grenades and opened fire at an Istanbul police station yesterday, officials said. The two women-members of the outlawed ultra-leftist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) — had taken refuge in an apartment after their attack. Police then launched an assault on the apartment, and the two were “neutralized”, Istanbul governor Vasip Sahin was quoted as saying by the official Anatolia news agency. Two police officers were lightly wounded. The women were named as Cigdem Yaksi and Berna Yilmaz, both members of the DHKP-C, Anatolia said. According to the Dogan news agency, the two women had thrown several grenades then opened fire at the riot police headquarters.

Officers returned fire, injuring one of the attackers before they fled to the nearby building. Security footage broadcast on television showed them brandishing weapons they pulled out of their handbags. Turkey has been on a state of alert for months since a series of deadly attacks on its soil. Last month, 29 people were killed in a car bombing that targeted a military convoy in Ankara, which was claimed by the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), who have been linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

In the last year, there were four deadly bomb attacks blamed on Islamic State (IS) jihadists, including the deadliest in Turkey’s modern history that killed 103 people in Ankara in October. But there have also been sporadic attacks by radicals from the DHKP-C, which seeks a Marxist revolution in Turkey among the working classes but also espouses a fiercely anti-Western and anti-NATO agenda. Known until the mid-1990s as Devrimci Sol (Revolutionary Left), the DHKP-C has claimed a string of attacks in Turkey in recent months, including a gun attack on the US embassy in Istanbul last year.

But many of its assaults have been small in scale and sometimes even amateurish in nature. It claimed the hostage-taking on March 31 of prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz at his Istanbul office that ended with the killing of the captive and both hostage-takers during a police raid. One of its most high profile crimes was the killing of the billionaire head of one of Turkey’s largest industrial empires Ozdemir Sabanci in January 1996. Last month, Turkey arrested alleged DHKP-C member Ismail Akkol over the Sabanci assassination and accused him of planning a suicide attack. — AFP

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