A car bomb attack in Istanbul’s Sultanbeyli district has killed a police officer. Two assailants were killed later on in skirmishes with police.
The car bomb, which exploded at around 1 am on Monday, wounded seven civilians, two policemen and a deputy police chief, according to a statement by the Istanbul Police Department.
Police reinforcements were deployed to the area immediately after the incident while roads leading to the police station were closed.
Meanwhile, parts of the police station collapsed and surrounding buildings were damaged as a fire erupted due to the explosion.
Fire brigades brought the fire under control and victims injured in the attack were transferred to nearby hospitals, Cihan News Agency reported.
Later, assailants also opened fire on police as they were conducting an investigation at the site at around 6:45 a.m.
Police engaged in combat with the attackers and clashes have since been continuing.
According to reports by Doğan News Agency, the director of the bomb disposal team, Beyazıt Çeken was killed during the clashes.
The agency also reported that the bodies of two assailants were seized by police.
A recently founded far-leftist organization called the People’s Defence Unit claimed the attack in a tweet in which it said four of its militants were also killed in the clash. The group came into the public spotlight when it claimed the bombing of Adımlar Magazine in Istanbul on 25th March, killing one person.
The magazine allegedly has close ties with the illegal Turkish Islamist group the Islamic Great East Raiders Front (IBDA-C), has organised campaigns demanding the release of Salih Mirzabeyoğlu, the leader of the group, and supports the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).