Mon | Feb 24, 2020

2 detained after shots fired at US Embassy

Published:Tuesday | August 21, 2018 | 12:00 AM
The damage to a security booth by a shot fired is seen outside the US Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, on Monday.


Shots were fired from a moving car at the US Embassy in Turkey before dawn on Monday, an attack that came during heightened tensions between the two NATO allies. Officials said two people with criminal records were detained.

There were no casualties in the fleeting attack in which three of the six bullets fired hit the embassy gate and a reinforced window in the building in Ankara.

The Ankara governor's office named the suspects as Ahmet Celikten, 39, and Osman Gundas, 38, saying that they had confessed. Authorities seized a nine-millimetre gun and a vehicle with Ankara licence plates.

Celikten had escaped prison and Gundas had several crimes under his belt, including car theft, drugs, and threats, the governor's office said.

The US Embassy thanked Turkish authorities, tweeting that it appreciated their "fast and professional action" in arresting the two suspects.

Turkish officials are locked in a trade and diplomatic dispute with the United States, but they fully condemned the shooting. Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin tweeted that it was "an attempt to create chaos."

A top official in Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party said the attack was a "clear provocation" and that foreign diplomats are guests of the country.

"The utmost sensitivity will be shown to ensure their security," said the party spokesman, Omer Celik.

The governor's office said authorities are investigating the suspects' links.