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Libyan gunman shot dead at Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace in Turkey

 Turkish security and ambulances are seen at the entrance of Ottoman-era Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011. A heavily armed...
 Security and ambulances are seen at the entrance of Ottoman-era Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011. A heavily armed Libyan ...

Turkey Attack

Turkish security and ambulances are seen at the entrance of Ottoman-era Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011. A heavily armed...

Turkey Attack

Security and ambulances are seen at the entrance of Ottoman-era Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011. A heavily armed Libyan ...

A heavily armed man opened fire at Topkapi Palace, one of Istanbul’s main tourist attractions, on Wednesday, wounding a Turkish soldier and a security guard before police snipers killed the attacker, officials said.

The motive for the assault was not immediately known. But police said the man, a Libyan with Syrian citizenship, had entered Turkey only three days ago.

Police said the attacker arrived at the palace in a car with Syrian license plates.

Multiple gun shots were heard from behind the high walls of the Topkapi Palace before the attacker was killed, and some tourists threw themselves on the ground to avoid the violence , officials and witnesses said.

Topkapi Palace, the seat of the Ottoman sultans for almost 400 years, is located in the city’s historic Sultanahmet district, which also includes the Blue Mosque and the former Byzantine church of Haghia Sophia.

The palace — including ornate courtyards, gilded treasures and dozens of rooms that once housed harems, attracts thousands of visitors each year.

Witnesses said the man shot the soldier in the leg and the guard in the abdomen before running into the palace courtyard through the main gate, chanting in Arabic “God is Great!”

Minutes before the attack, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had announced tough economic sanctions on Syria to protest its government’s crackdown on an 8-month-old pro-democracy uprising.

Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin said the attacker had entered Turkey on Sunday. The state-run TRT television, citing unnamed officials, identified him as 36-year-old Samir Salem Ali Elmadhavri, a Libyan with Syrian citizenship.

Authorities would divulge further details about the man’s identity and Sahin said it was not immediately known if the attacker was affiliated with any groups or organizations in Libya or Syria.


Updated : 2022-05-22 07:08 GMT+08:00