Shots fired at United States embassy in Ankara, no casualties

Gladys Abbott
August 20, 2018

Shots were fired at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey early Monday in an apparent drive-by shooting.

Turkey's economy, and its currency in particular, has been shaken by U.S. sanctions created to force the release of detained American pastor Andrew Brunson.

A police officer said several gunshots were fired about 5 am (0200 GMT) and that nobody was hurt where the embassy is closed this week due to the Islamic Eid al-Adha holiday.

U.S. -Turkish tensions have dramatically increased in recent days over the fate of U.S. -born pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been held under house arrest in Istanbul for roughly two years on terrorism and espionage-related charges.

Police teams were searching for the assailants, who fled in a white vehicle after the attack, CNN Turk said.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also came out fighting Monday, saying an attack of Turkey's economy was no different from a strike against its flag or the Muslim call to prayer.

USA embassy spokesman David Gainer confirmed to AFP that a "security incident" had taken place. "We have no reports of any injuries and we are investigating the details", David Gainer, the spokesperson of the US Embassy told the Hürriyet Daily News.

"We thank the Turkish National Police for their rapid response".

Ibarahim Kalin added: "Turkey is a safe country and all foreign missions are under the guarantee of the laws".

The attack comes amid increased tensions between the two countries over the USA applying pressure to Turkey to free North Carolina Christian Pastor Andrew Brunson, who Turkey claims supported Kurdish militants and assisted in the 2016 coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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