Turkish prosecutor taken hostage dies from wounds after shootout

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By Euronews  with Reuters, AFP
Turkish prosecutor taken hostage dies from wounds after shootout

A Turkish prosecutor and two gunmen who took him hostage have been killed after a shootout with police at a courthouse in Istanbul.

Earlier, two members of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), a banned Marxist revolutionary group, had released footage of Mehmet Selim Kiraz with a gun to his head and said they would kill him if their demands were not met.

Kiraz had been leading an inquiry into the death of Berkin Elvan, a 15-year-old boy wounded during anti-government protests in 2013.

The DHKP-C said on its website that it wanted the police officer it blames for Elvan’s death to confess on television, officers to be tried in “people’s courts” and charges against those who attended protests for Elvan to be dropped.

Officials said the two gunmen were killed when police stormed the courthouse, while the prosecutor was rushed to hospital but died of his injuries.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said doctors had done their best to save him.

“We have decided to fully investigate and examine the incident for any shortcomings. We gave orders for necessary steps to be taken in the future,” he said.

Police had begun negotiating with the hostage takers but the sound of gunfire inside forced them to storm the building, ending a six-hour standoff.

Apparently the gunmen had slipped into the building disguised as lawyers.

The bloody hostage crisis on Tuesday coincided with the worst power cut Turkey has seen in over a decade, which has caused chaos in Istanbul.

There was no indication of a link between the two events but some media reports said the gunmen had been able to enter the courthouse as the metal detectors were not working due to the blackout.