Middle East

Three killed in Turkey armed attack

A Turkish policeman (R) warns Syrian refugees crossing illegally the southern border gate of Akcakale on January 11, 2014 in Sanliurfa. AFP PHOTO/OZAN KOSE

ANKARA: Two soldiers and a police officer were killed Thursday in southern Turkey when unidentified assailants opened fire on security forces in an attack denounced as an "act of terror" by the government.

Using long-range shotguns the armed men fired from a truck after they had been ordered to stop at a checkpoint on a highway in the town of Ulukisla, according to local media.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed the attack whose motive was not immediately clear. He condemned it as a "vile act of terror".

"Two of our soldiers and one police officer have become martyrs," he said during an election rally in northwestern Turkey.

Police arrested two of the three assailants. One was still missing, he added.

Local media reported that people aboard the truck were from war-torn neighbouring Syria.

Turkey, a fierce opponent of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime, has been accused of supplying arms to several rebel groups fighting to topple him since 2011.

Ankara has categorically denied the claim.





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