2017 İzmir courthouse attack

On 5 January 2017 16:10 local time, two heavily armed assailants detonated a car bomb outside a courthouse in Bayraklı, İzmir, Aegean Province of Turkey, and triggered a deadly shootout, killing two people. Two of the attackers were killed, while a third managed to escape.[1]

2017 İzmir Courthouse Attack
Part of Kurdish–Turkish conflict (2015–present)
Location of the courthouse, where the attack took place.
LocationBayraklı, İzmir, Turkey
Coordinates38°26′56″N 27°10′33″E
Date05 January 2017
16:10 (UTC+3)
TargetCivilians and personnel at the courthouse
Attack type
Car bombing, mass shooting
WeaponsAK-47, RPG-7, Hand Grenade
Deaths4 (1 civilian, 1 police officer, 2 perpetrators)
Injured7
PerpetratorsKurdistan Freedom Hawks
AssailantsMustafa Çoban  
Enes Yıldırım 
Unknown

Attack

Assailants tried to enter the courthouse auto park with their car full of explosives. Security forces identified the vehicle as a threat as it approached a checkpoint, causing the attackers to leave their car, detonate their explosives and open fire with AK-47 rifles.

Gunfire broke out between police and the men suspected to have orchestrated the attack. Two suspects were shot dead at the scene, while a third attacker is thought to have escaped.[1]

Police officer Fethi Sekin, who identified the vehicle shouting "Terrorists!" and stopped the attack by triggering the gunfight, was killed after shooting at least one of the suspects. Also, an employee of the İzmir courthouse was killed during the gunfire. 7 people were injured, including 4 police officers and 3 civilians.[2]

Aftermath

Two AK-47 rifles, a rocket launcher and eight hand grenades were seized after the incident from the scene.

18 suspects linked to attack were arrested according to Turkish Ministry of Justice.[3]

Erol Ayyildiz, governor of İzmir, said that police officer Fethi Sekin prevented an even bigger attack by noticing the bomb-laden car on time, intervening and stopping the assailants from reaching the courthouse itself.[4]

Turkish prime minister Binali Yıldırım stated that ‘Our heroic police officer martyred in this attack, prevented a much bigger disaster happening, sacrificing his own life without a thought for it.’

Hundreds of people gathered for a memorial service in Izmir to hail Sekin as a national hero, with photos of his coffin draped in the Turkish flag flooding social media. People were seen waiting outside in the cold, wet weather, with umbrellas and rain jackets, to pay their respects.[5]

ISIL claimed responsibility for the attack on the day of the attack.[6]

On January 11, Kurdistan Freedom Hawks claimed responsibility for the attack and identified the attackers.[7]

Perpetrators

Two suspects that were shot dead at the scene, Mustafa Çoban and Enes Yıldırım, were identified as members of the militant organization Kurdistan Freedom Hawks.[8]

Images posted online have also emerged showing the bodies of two suspects lying on the ground after being shot, with their weapons nearby.

The U.S. government, United Kingdom and the European Union has designated the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks as a terrorist organization, while Turkey regards the group as part of the terrorist organization Kurdistan Workers' Party, therefore doesn't list it separately.[8][9]

See also

References

  1. "Two killed in car bomb attack in Turkey's İzmir". Hurriyet Daily News. 5 January 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  2. "Four dead after car bombing and shootout in Turkish city of Izmir". 6 January 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  3. "Police arrest 18 over Izmir terror attack". Anadolu Agency. 6 January 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  4. "Izmir explosion: Two 'terrorists' shot dead after car bomb and gunfire outside courthouse in Turkey". Independent. 5 January 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  5. "Turkish police officer who died protecting courthouse from terrorists hailed as national hero". Metro. 6 January 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  6. "Izmir explosion: At least two civilians killed in car bombing targeting courthouse". INDEPENDENT. 5 January 2017. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  7. "TAK claims responsibility for courthouse attack in Turkey's Izmir". jane's. 13 January 2017. Archived from the original on 11 January 2018. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  8. "Kurdish Militants Claim Car Bomb Attack in Turkey's Izmir". VOA. 11 January 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  9. "U.S. labels Kurdish group as terrorist". CNN. 1 November 2008. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
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