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Turkish leftist group claims responsibility for attack on Istanbul police

An aerial overview of the historical Sultanahmet and Galata district

The Turkish far-left group DHKP-C has claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack at a police station in Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet district on Tuesday that killed one officer and wounded another.

A female suicide bomber entered the police station saying in English that she had lost her purse before blowing herself up inside the three-storey building, across the square from the Aya Sofya museum and the Blue Mosque, which are among the main sites for millions of visitors to Istanbul each year.

In a statement posted on “The People’s Cry” website hours after the attack, the group said the bombing was against the ruling AK Party over the killing of 15-year-old Berkin Elvan, who died in March last year after nine months in a coma from a head wound sustained during an anti-government protest.

“It is the same state which shot Berkin Elvan and which protects the thief ministers,” the statement said, in an apparent reference to a Monday ruling of a parliamentary commission not to commit four ex-ministers to a higher court over graft allegations.

Turkey’s Dec.17 graft probe swirled around the inner circle of then-prime minister Tayyip Erdogan and led to the resignation of the ministers of economy, interior and urbanisation.

The commission, dominated by members of the ruling AK Party, voted on Monday not to send the four ex-ministers for trial, a decision that the opposition decried as a cover-up of one of Turkey’s biggest ever corruption scandals.

DHKP-C (Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front) also claimed responsibility for a grenade attack on police near the Turkish prime minister’s office in Istanbul last week.

The group, which had since then pledged further attacks, was also behind a suicide bombing at the U.S. Embassy last year as well as attacks on police stations.

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