Israeli embassy attack: Man 'shouting Allahu Akbar' shot after attempted stabbing in Turkish capital of Ankara

Authorities say all embassy staff safe after assailant stopped outside building

Lizzie Dearden
Wednesday 21 September 2016 10:44
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A bomb disposal expert examines a bag in front of the Israeli Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, September 21, 2016.
A bomb disposal expert examines a bag in front of the Israeli Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, September 21, 2016.

A man wielding a knife has been shot after attempting to attack the Israeli embassy in Turkey.

The suspect was shot in the leg and detained after trying to carry out a stabbing attack on Wednesday.

Authorities are believed to be investigating links to Islamist terrorism after police told Reuters the man was shouting "Allahu Akbar", meaning "God is Great" in Arabic, during the incident.

Investigators outside the Israeli Embassy in Ankara after an attempted attack on 21 September

A spokesperson for the Israeli embassy in London confirmed an attempted attack but said the assailant was prevented from entering the embassy building in Ankara.

"There was an attempted attack outside the embassy but all staff are safe and the attacker was stopped outside," he told The Independent.

Shira Ben Tzion, the deputy consul general of Israel, said a Turkish security guard was responsible for shooting the attacker.

“The Embassy trusts the Turkish forces to control and investigate the incident,” she added. “We thank the Turkish police for its professional work.”

Bomb disposal squads were seen examining a bag outside the building following the incident.

Police outside the Israeli Embassy in Ankara after an attempted attack on 21 September

Police have launched a terror investigation into the attack, which comes after calls by Isis and al-Qaeda for supporters to launch "lone wolf" attacks in countries perceived as enemies.

The arrested man was locally identified as a 38-year-old construction worker from Karaman province, who was said to be mentally ill.

Both Kurdish separatists and Islamist extremists have targeted Turkey with recent attacks, including a rocket and shooting attack on a police station in the province of Van on Monday.

Authorities attributed the assault to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), whose militants are waging an insurgency against Turkey in the south-east.

Isis has also claimed responsibility for suicide bombings and attacks including the assault on Istanbul Airport in June, while the group was also blamed for an explosion at a wedding party in Gaziantep.

Turkey launched an offensive against the so-called Islamic State and Kurdish rebel groups in Syria last month in an attempt to push both groups back from its border.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Wednesday's attempted attack.

It came three months after Israel and Turkey agreed to resume full diplomatic relations after a six-year rift that followed the killing of Turkish activists on a Gaza flotilla stormed by the Israeli military.

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