US warns citizens of terror attacks in Istanbul

US warns citizens of terror attacks in Istanbul

Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:30AM

The United States has issued a stern warning about the possibility of terror attacks or attempted kidnapping of foreigners in Istanbul, Turkey.

The US consulate in Istanbul warned Americans Saturday evening that terrorist groups may continue their “aggressive efforts” to attack them and other foreigners.

“These attacks may be pre-planned or could occur with little or no warning, and include, but are not limited to: armed attack, attempted kidnapping, bombing, or other violent acts,” it said in an online notice.

The touristy city has seen several terrorist attacks this year, most of which were claimed by the Daesh terrorist group.

The consulate did not say which group might be orchestrating such acts, but advised those Americans who are visiting the city or living there to “review and update their personal security practices when traveling to locations where Westerners are known to frequent or reside.”

“US citizens should also exercise increased vigilance and caution in areas easily accessible to the general public,” it added.

Earlier this month, the US Embassy warned of a terror attack on businesses, including Starbucks, in Gaziantep, near the Syrian border.

Tourist numbers have plummeted in Turkey as a series of bombings, a failed coup in July, and tensions with Russia have kept visitors away.

Two officers killed in car bombing

Meanwhile, a car bomb explosion near a police vehicle in the eastern province of Bingol left two officers dead and 19 people injured on Sunday.

The bomb, believed to have been planted by militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was detonated near the district governor’s office, the security sources told Reuters.

Hours before the blast, PKK militants attempted to attack the governor’s home, using rifles and rocket launchers, according to local media. Two militants managed to get to the door of the house but fled when police returned fire.

Turkey, the US and Europe consider the PKK to be a terrorist organization.

Turkish military forces have been conducting ground operations and airstrikes against PKK positions in the country’s troubled southeastern border region since the collapse of a ceasefire last year.

Last week, bomb explosions struck Gaziantep, killing three people and injuring eight others. In August, an attacker tied to Daesh had struck a wedding in the city, killing 57 people, including 34 children.

On October 15, at least two rockets hit the southern Turkish holiday resort region of Antalya.

On January 28, at least 41 people were killed and 239 more injured in a gun and bomb attack in Istanbul’s Atatürk international airport.

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