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Turkey blames Istanbul attack on al Qaeda

 Turkey blames Istanbul attack on al Qaeda
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Police in Turkey have detained two people in connection with a gun battle outside the US consulate in Istanbul, in which three police officers were killed. Turkish broadcasters claimed that the three assailants, who also died, came from eastern Turkey and are suspected of having links with al Qaeda. One of those arrested is also said to be the brother of one of the dead gunmen.

Witnesses described how four attackers drove a car up to the high-walled compound to the north of Istanbul city centre. Three jumped out as the car stopped, and opened fire on the officers standing at a guard post.

Both Turkey and the United States have condemned the attack, for which no one has yet accepted the blame. One officer died at the scene while two others succumbed to their injuries in hospital. Two other people were injured.

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 Istanbul.