Two Turkish Police Wounded in Attack on Patrol Car

Published December 20th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Gunmen opened fire on a police car in Istanbul Wednesday, wounding two officers in an attack that coincided with the Turkish crackdown on hunger strikers in jails, the Anatolia news agency reported. 

The attack took place in the Okmeydani district on the European quarter as the car was traveling on one of the city's main highway, the report said. 

The all-news NTV channel, meanwhile, said that the officers had sustained minor injuries and were taken to nearby hospitals. 

There was no further information. 

Wednesday's attack comes at the backdrop of a massive raid by paramilitary troops in 20 Turkish jails in a bid to end a two-month hunger strike by leftist inmates against planned prison changes. 

The bloody raids in 18 of the jails has left at least 19 dead -- 17 inmates and two soldiers -- while security forces continued efforts Wednesday to break resistance in the remaining two jails. 

Last week, a similar armed attack on a police bus in the Gaziosmanpasa district, also on the European quarter, claimed the lives of two officers and wounded 11 others. 

Security officials had later said that an extreme left-wing group -- the Turkish Communist Party-Marxist-Leninist -- had claimed responsibility for the Gaziosmanpasa shooting. 

Istanbul's police chief Kazim Avanos had hinted at the time that the attack was linked to the hunger strike in Turkish jails where inmates are protesting planned reforms designed to tighten security in the country's unruly prisons -- ISTANBUL (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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