Turkish prosecutor taken hostage in Istanbul

Published March 31st, 2015 - 11:51 GMT

A public prosecutor at an Istanbul courthouse has been taken hostage by unknown gunmen.

Mehmet Selim Kiraz had been handling the case of Berkin Elvan, who was critically injured during the 2013 Gezi Park protests and died in March 2014 after being in a coma for 269 days.

Today’s incident took place at around 12.30 p.m. (Turkish local time) at Kiraz’ office on the sixth floor of the Okmeydani district courthouse.

Police have moved into position around the incident area where Kiraz was taken hostage.

Two gunshots have been heard as security forces were trying to gain access to the office. It is not known if there are any injuries.

A photograph — showing a gunman pointing a weapon at Kiraz’s head — was published on a Twitter account claiming to be close to an armed leftist group called the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front, or DHKP-C.

The DHKP-C is a 1978-founded Marxist-Leninist party, considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

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