Two left-wing terrorists were shot dead after they opened fire inside a court in Istanbul, Turkey.
Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said the two terrorists, identified as a man and a woman, attacked a security checkpoint at the Caglayan courthouse in Istanbul and were killed in an exchange of gunfire. Authorities said that one other woman was also killed in the gunfire and that three police officers and two civilians were wounded.
According to multiple reports, The Caglayan Courthouse, also known as the Istanbul Justice Palace, is a heavily guarded court complex in the Kagithane district. Reports also confirmed that the courthouse was Europe’s largest courthouse when it opened in 2011.
Footage of the attack showed the terrorists appearing to shoot at the police before being gunned down while bystanders ran for cover. According to Breitbart News, Yerlikaya also pointed out that the terrorists were members of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), a left-wing group that has carried out periodic attacks in Turkey since the 1980s.
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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan praised the officers for their intervention.
“I congratulate our security forces who eliminated the treacherous attack with timely intervention,” Erdogan said. “Two terrorists, one a woman and the other a man were neutralized.”
Erdogan also said the attack injured three police and three civilians, one of whom later died. According to a private news agency, the elder sister of the female attacker appeared as a defendant at the courthouse half an hour after the attack. The outlet reports that she faced charges of membership in a terrorist organization and possessing dangerous materials.
Turkish police on Tuesday shot dead a man and a woman belonging to a leftist "terrorist" organisation who attacked a security checkpoint outside a courthouse in Istanbul, injuring six people, officials said.
"While the terrorists who attempted to attack were neutralised, six… pic.twitter.com/NpeMKKYYha
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A witness, Mahir Yildiz, 24, reported that the terrorists opened fire on the police after a brief altercation at a checkpoint that led to the main entrance of the courthouse.
“A conflict broke out at the exit gate. I saw two people, a man and a woman shooting at the police. The male shot first. Then the woman fired a few shots,” Yildiz said. “I heard 20-25 gunshots. There was great panic and fear at that moment. We didn’t know which way to go. The police blocked the entrance and exit, and gathered everyone inside.”
The attack took place on the day Turkey marked the anniversary of an earthquake in the south that killed more than 53,000 people.