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Two Women Attacked Police With Guns and a Grenade in Istanbul, as 13 Die in Southeast Turkey

The two female attackers were killed by officers after they fired shots and threw a grenade at a police bus. Meanwhile, three soldiers and 10 Kurdish militants have been killed in southeast Turkey.
Photo par Emrah Gurel/AP

Two female militants were killed by police when they fired shots and threw a grenade at a Turkish police bus in Istanbul on Thursday, local media and the Istanbul governor said.

Meanwhile, three Turkish soldiers and 10 Kurdish militants have been killed in two clashes in southeast Turkey, according to the army, the latest casualties in a revived conflict that has killed hundreds since the collapse of a ceasefire last summer.


Two officers were lightly wounded in the Istanbul attack, Governor Vasip Sahin told reporters. An investigation was under way to identify the militant group responsible, he said.

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.

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Police fired back, injuring one of the women, before tracking them to a nearby building, CNN Turk said.

Special forces units and police then surrounded the building, footage showed, leading to an hour-long stand-off between the women and the police in which there was sporadic gunfire.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Thursday's attack. The state-run Anadolu Agency identified the women as members of the leftist DHKP-C militant group.

Violence also continues to flare in the predominantly Kurdish southeast, where a ceasefire between Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants and the state collapsed last July.

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.

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Another two PKK militants were killed in the Sur district of Diyarbakir, the largest city in the southeast, where police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse hundreds protesting against the security operations.

The Sur district has been under lockdown since December 2 as police and soldiers try to root out PKK militants who erected barricades and dug trenches in the neighborhood. A curfew in the town of Cizre was partially lifted on Wednesday.

The PKK, considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union, launched a separatist armed rebellion against the Turkish state more than three decades ago and more than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

Turkey has also become a target for Islamic State militants, who are blamed for three suicide bombings — one last year in the town of Suruc near the Syrian border, another in the capital, Ankara, and one in Istanbul in January. Those attacks killed more than 140 people.

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