Six dead, including assailants, in attack on U.S. Consulate in Istanbul

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The consulate is in this building which opened in 2003.

Several men fired on Turkish police officers outside the United States Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey today at 11 a.m. local time. The men have yet to be identified.

Turkish officials say three police officers and three of the assailants were killed during the gunfight. The fight lasted two minutes, with one of the officers dying at the scene and the other two dying later of bullet wounds at the hospital. Several other Turkish policemen were injured. No Americans were reportedly harmed in the attack.

According to Turkish authorities, two of the assailants used pistols and one used a shotgun; all three died. Another assailant escaped by car unharmed.

The attackers have been described as terrorists by Turkish officials. Turkish President Abdullah Gül has strongly denounced the attack.

The United States Ambassador to Turkey, Ross Wilson said in a statement: "It is, of course, inappropriate now to speculate on who may have done this or why. It is an obvious act of terrorism. Our countries will stand together and confront this, as we have in the past."