Leftist group says it carried out Istanbul suicide bombing

AP News
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Posted: Jan 07, 2015 8:04 AM

ISTANBUL (AP) — A Turkish leftist group has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at an Istanbul police station on Tuesday that killed an officer and wounded another.

Authorities say the female bomber entered the building in the tourist district of Sultan Ahmet and blew herself up.

In a statement posted on a website, the leftist Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front, or DHKP-C, said it carried out the attack. It called the bombing "an act of sacrifice."

It was the second attack on police in a week in Istanbul claimed by the group. Last week, police subdued a man after he threw grenades and fired a weapon at officers near the prime minister's offices.

The group said the attack Tuesday was in retribution for the death of a 15-year-old boy who was hit in the head by a police tear-gas canister in protests in 2013.

"Our sacrifice fighter was martyred, a policeman who is the guardian of the thieving, murdering fascist state was punished by death," the statement said.

The group identified the suicide bomber as Elif Sultan Kalsen. Kalsen's family, who were called to a criminal medical center to identify the body, said it was not their daughter.

"I had never seen the person whose body they showed us," the Hurriyet newspaper quoted the family's lawyer, Ebru Timtik, as saying.

The DHKP-C, which seeks a socialist state, is considered as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union.

Suicide attacks have been rare in Turkey since the government opened peace talks in 2012 with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, to end a 30-year insurgency. The DHKP-C has carried out sporadic attacks, including a suicide bombing on the U.S. embassy in 2013 that killed a security guard. The group was more active in the 1970s.

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Berza Simsek contributed to this report.

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