Turkish police kill would-be suicide bomber in southeast – security official

By Ece Toksabay and Tuvan Gumrukcu | ANKARA

ANKARA Turkish police killed a would-be attacker who tried to enter the main police station in the southeastern city of Gaziantep on Tuesday and were searching for a second assailant, in what one security official told Reuters was an attempted suicide bombing.

A gunfight broke out in front of the police compound and ambulances were sent to the scene, television channels reported, in the latest outburst of violence to hit Turkey.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told reporters in parliament that a police operation was underway to locate the second attacker.

One police officer was wounded in the clash and was taken to hospital for treatment, the Gaziantep governor’s office said in a statement. Eyewitnesses said a dead person, presumed to be the would-be attacker, was lying on the ground in front of the police station, Dogan news agency said.

Turkey is still reeling from an attack on New Year’s Day in which a gunman killed 39 revellers inside a popular Istanbul nightclub. Islamic State claimed that attack.

Four days later, attackers who officials suspect were Kurdish militants clashed with police and detonated a car bomb in western Turkey, killing a police officer and a court employee.

Gaziantep police station was previously targeted on May 1 when two police officers were killed and 22 people wounded in a car bomb attack, which at the time was linked to Islamic State.

The city of Gaziantep is 65 km (40 miles) from the Syrian frontier and has been a focus of Turkish concerns about the spillover of violence across the border.

A suicide bomb attack on a wedding party in Gaziantep killed more than 50 people on Aug. 20. Four days later, Turkey’s army launched an operation with Syrian rebels to drive Islamic State away from its southern border.

(Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Gareth Jones)