Helicopters, armoured vehicles and hundreds of police officers were involved in a violent stand-off with a suspected extremist in central Istanbul Monday that left three people dead.

A heavily armed militant, thought to have links to the Kurdish separatist PKK group, resisted a police raid for five hours in an apartment east of the Bosphorous river.

The man was eventually killed by police marksmen, but not before he had shot eight officers, a camera man and an onlooker. One of the officers and the bystander died of their injuries.

Terrified neighbours peered from their windows as anti-terrorism police ducked and sheltered behind armoured vehicles during the raid that began at dawn. Police fired several tear gas canisters setting a fire that left smoke pouring from the building.

The raid was part of a crackdown on Kurdish and radical Islamic groups. The government said police had rounded up more than 40 suspects in 60 overnight raids, but there were no other clashes. A spokesman said that 12 of the suspects, including the militant gunman, belonged to a pro-Kurdish group called the Revolutionary Headquarters.

Click here to read more on this story from the Times of London.