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Middle east

Shootout between extremist and police leaves three dead

Latest update : 2009-04-27

Police raided an apartment in the Bostanci district of Istanbul to arrest a suspected extremist leader, resulting in the latter's death. A police officer and a civilian also died in the raid, said to be part of a larger anti-PKK sting operation.

AFP -  A suspected left-wing extremist was among three people killed Monday during a six-hour shootout at his Istanbul apartment, Turkish Interior Minister Besir Atalay said.
A police officer and a civilian were also dead following the drama in the heart of the Asian side of the Turkish metropolis that began when police launched an early-morning raid on the flat.
The extremist -- an alleged leader of an underground group known as the Revolutionary Headquarters -- was alone in the premises with a large stockpile of weapons and explosive devices.
Resisting arrest, he exchanged gunfire with police who surrounded the building in Bostanci, a busy residential neighbourhood. Specialised police units rushed to the scene, and a number of explosions were heard.
The civilian who died was outside the security perimeter when he was hit in the head by a stray bullet, the interior minister said. Slightly injured was a television cameraman, hit by a ricochet on the ear.
The raid was part of a wider police operation aimed at foiling attacks by left-wing extremists and the banned separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Istanbul governor Muammer Gueler said.
By mid-day Monday, around 40 people had been arrested in Istanbul, he said.
Elsewhere in Turkey, about 50 people -- including suspected members of the Turkish branch of Al-Qaeda -- were arrested in what appeared to be simultaneous raids aimed at underground Islamist groups, the Anatolia news agency reported.

Date created : 2009-04-27