Turkish police capture suspects in Istanbul rocket attacks: police sources

Turkish police secure the area near the police headquaters after an attack in Istanbul, Turkey, January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish authorities captured two men believed to be among those responsible for rocket attacks on the Istanbul police headquarters and the offices of the ruling AK Party on Friday evening, police sources said on Sunday.

Armed assailants attacked Istanbul’s police headquarters and an office of the ruling AK Party with rocket launchers on Friday evening. There were no reports of casualties from the attacks.

Police sources said the suspects, identified as a members of the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Army-Front (DHKP-C), were captured in the northwestern province of Tekirdag. One of the assailants was captured by police early on Sunday, while the other was shot dead later in the day after opening fire on police officers ordering him to surrender.

One of the attackers, identified as Serif T., is also believed to be behind an assault on police in Istanbul on Saturday, the sources said. They said both attackers were part of the Interior Ministry’s “Grey List” for wanted terrorists.

There have been no claims of responsibility for the attacks on Friday and Saturday.

The police sources said questioning was continuing of five other suspects detained in Istanbul on Saturday in relation to Friday’s attacks.

The outlawed DHKP-C is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. It has staged suicide attacks against Turkish police and the U.S. Embassy in recent years.

NATO member Turkey has been hit by a spate of bombings and shootings in the past year, including a twin bombing claimed by Kurdish militants outside a soccer stadium in Istanbul on Dec. 10 that killed 44 people.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle, Greg Mahlich