Turkish police bus attack: 2 female militants killed

Special forces officers conducting a search operation following the attack at the entrance to a police station in the Istanbul suburb of Bayrampasa, Turkey, yesterday.
Special forces officers conducting a search operation following the attack at the entrance to a police station in the Istanbul suburb of Bayrampasa, Turkey, yesterday.PHOTO: REUTERS

One threw a grenade and the other opened fire on the vehicle with a machine gun

ISTANBUL • Two female militants were killed by police after they fired shots and threw a grenade at a Turkish police bus in Istanbul yesterday, local media and the Istanbul governor said.

Two police officers were lightly wounded in the attack, Gover- nor Vasip Sahin told reporters in televised comments.

One of the women threw a grenade and the other opened fire with what appeared to be a machine gun as the riot police bus drove towards the entrance of a police station in the Bayrampasa district of Turkey's biggest city, footage from Dogan News Agency showed.

Police fired back, injuring one of the women before tracking them to a nearby building, CNN Turk said. Special forces units and police surrounded the building, television footage showed, leading to an hour-long stand-off between the women and the police in which there was sporadic gunfire.

Police then launched an assault on the apartment, "neutralising" the two, the official Anatolia news agency said, quoting police sources.

A leftist militant group, the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), claimed responsibility for the attack, according to a statement on a website close to the outlawed group.

"Greetings to you, our two brave female liberation fighters who have taken the people's liberation fight on their shoulders," the statement from the group said.

The women were named as Cigdem Yaksi and Berna Yilmaz, both members of the DHKP-C, Anatolia said.

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 past year, there were four deadly bomb attacks blamed on Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorists, 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.

Meanwhile, three Turkish soldiers and 10 Kurdish militants have been killed in two clashes in south-east Turkey, the army said yesterday.

In the Dargecit district of Mardin province, near the Syrian border, three soldiers and eight PKK fighters were killed on Wednesday during security forces operations, the army statement said.

Another two PKK militants were killed in the Sur district of Diyarbakir, where police on Wednesday fired tear gas and used water cannons to disperse hundreds of people that were protesting against the security operations.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 04, 2016, with the headline 'Turkish police bus attack: 2 female militants killed'. Print Edition | Subscribe