3 killed, 5 injured in terrorist attack in front of İstanbul courthouse

Police forensic experts examine the area after a shooting outside the İstanbul Courthouse in Çağlayan on February 6, 2024. Turkish police on February 6, 2024, shot dead a man and a woman belonging to a leftist "terrorist" organization who attacked a security checkpoint outside İstanbul's main courthouse. (Photo by YASIN AKGUL / AFP)

Two assailants who opened fire on a police checkpoint in front of İstanbul’s main courthouse on Tuesday morning were killed along with a bystander, while five others were injured in the attack, Turkish Minute reported, citing the state-run Anadolu news agency.

Three of the injured were police officers, according to a statement from Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya on X.

The attack took place in front of the İstanbul Courthouse in the Çağlayan neighborhood.

Ambulances and police have been dispatched to the scene, where heavy security measures have been taken.

One of the injured, identified as Dilfıraz Karataş, succumbed to his injuries at a hospital.

Yerlikaya said the assailants, one man and one woman, were militants of the far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C).

The group issued no initial claim of responsibility.

An investigation has been launched into the incident by the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, while the İstanbul 1st Penal Court of Peace imposed a gag order on news reports covering the incident.

Images from the scene showed two bodies lying on the ground outside the main entrance to the courthouse, the scene of some of Turkey’s biggest trials.

Police sealed off the courthouse entrances as a security precaution.

Turkey had begun to emerge from a violent spell that started a decade ago, when it was hit by repeated bombings and other attacks linked to Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters and Kurdish militants.

Although those attacks have largely died down, both İstanbul and the capital, Ankara, remain on high alert.

Last month, one man was shot dead by two gunmen who opened fire inside a Catholic church in İstanbul.

The attack was claimed by ISIL militants.

In October two assailants injured two policemen in an attack in the government district in Ankara that was claimed by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community.

Turkey responded by stepping up airstrikes against Kurdish targets in Syria and Iraq.

In one of its highest-profile attacks, the DHKP-C in 2013 staged a suicide bombing of the US Embassy in Ankara, killing a Turkish security guard.

The group, which is recognized as a terrorist organization by Washington, has been fighting US influence in the Middle East and across the world.

In 2014 Washington issued a $3 million reward for the capture of the group’s leaders.

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