Shots fired outside US Embassy in Turkey

Leroy Wright
August 20, 2018

Gunshots have been fired at the U.S. embassy in Ankara but caused no casualties, Turkish and American officials said, amid escalating tensions between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

Unknown gunmen have opened fire at the US Embassy in the Turkish capital Ankara in a drive-by shooting that caused no casualties, police and the embassy spokesperson said Monday. "There are no casualties", it said.

The US embassy spokesman David Gainer confirmed to Agence France-Presse that a "security incident" had taken place. He thanked Turkish police for their "rapid response".

The damage to a security booth by a shot fired, is seen outside the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Aug. 20, 2018.

A bullet mark was clearly visible on a security booth at the embassy, an AFP journalist at the scene reported.

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

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose government imposed its own tit-for-tat tariffs on some American goods, alluded to the dispute with the U.S.in a pre-recorded holiday message.

The incident comes as tension between Turkey and the United States continues to boil over Turkey's detention of a United States pastor accused of participating in a failed coup.

Ties between Ankara and Washington have been strained over the case of an imprisoned American pastor, leading the USA to impose sanctions and increased tariffs that sent the Turkish lira tumbling last week.

In a written statement ahead of the Muslim feast of Eidul Azha, Erdogan remained defiant.

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