ISTANBUL – Police in Istanbul on Thursday killed two women who had hidden inside a building after attacking police with gunfire and a hand grenade, an official said. Two police officers were slightly injured.
The state-run Anadolu Agency, without citing a source, said the women were identified as members of the banned far-left group, the Revolutionary People's Liberation Army-Front, or DHKP-C.
Security camera footage showed the women firing at a police bus outside a riot police station in Istanbul's Bayrampasa neighborhood and also hurling a hand grenade, before apparently taking aim at the police station. The hand grenade did not explode.
They fled the scene in a vehicle and hid in a building a short distance from the police station. Special forces police quickly surrounded the building and launched an operation after the pair ignored calls for them to surrender and opened fire on officers, NTV television reported.
Istanbul Gov. Vasip Sahin said both of the assailants were killed in the operation. He said two police officers were wounded — one by broken glass during the attack on the bus and the other during the assault on the building.
The DHKP-C, among other attacks, carried out a 2013 suicide bombing on the U.S. Embassy that killed a security guard. DHKP-C militants also opened fire on the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul last year.
Thursday's attack came amid a surge in violence in Turkey since the summer.
A fragile peace process with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, collapsed in July, reviving a three-decade conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people since 1984.
Last month, a suicide car bombing that targeted buses carrying military personnel in the capital, Ankara, killed 29 people. A Kurdish militant group that is an off-shoot of the PKK claimed responsibility for that attack. But the government maintains that it was the work of a Syrian Kurdish militia group, in coordination with the PKK.
Some 145 people have died since July in three separate suicide bomb attacks that authorities have blamed on the Islamic State group, including 12 German tourists who were killed in Istanbul's historic Sultanahmet district on Jan. 12.