At least three police officers and three gunmen have been killed after a gunbattle outside the US consulate in Istanbul, an attack which Turkish officials now say was terrorism-related.
The identity of the assailants is still unclear, although its been reported at least two were Turkish nationals.
The authorities are also hunting a fourth man who is thought to have dropped the gunmen off before they opened fire.
The gunbattle went on for 15 minutes, giving eyewitnesses time to take in the scene: “They arrived in a car,” said one,“with their weapons hidden in their shirts. Two police officers were inside the checkpoint. They shot one of them, and then the other one in the head. Then two more officers arrived and they shot one of the attackers in his arm. Then the attacker grabbed the gun and shot himself.”
There are no reports of any consular staff being injured. However, officials say a fourth police officer was wounded, along with a lorry driver who was in the area at the time.
Turkey has been the target of numerous armed attacks from a variety of groups over recent years.
The most serious to date was in 2003, when 58 people died in a series of suicide bombings which targeted synagogues and british interests in the city.
Both Ankara and Washington have condemned today-s attack, for which no one has yet claimed responsibility.