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Chris Morris reports for the BBC
"Heavy gunfire began without warning in a residential neighbourhood"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 18 January, 2000, 00:18 GMT
Istanbul police in Islamist shoot-out

Turkish police Police discuss their tactics during the seige


Turkish police killed a radical Islamist guerrilla and captured two others after a four-hour armed stand-off in Istanbul.

The incident began when police raided an apartment used by members of the Turkish Hezbollah group in Beykoz, on the Asian side of the Bosphorus straits.

The raid was part of a search for one of about 10 businessmen who have been missing since last week.

Anti-terrorist police, wearing bullet proof vests and ski masks, peppered the three-storey house with gunfire.

Some officers had climbed onto the porch above the front door and fired through a net curtain into an upstairs room before fighting their way through the building.

Sporadic explosions rang out from the house.

One police officer was shot in the arm during the clash.

Unsolved murders

Istanbul police chief Hasan Ozdemir told reporters at the scene that the militants had been armed with three Kalashnikov rifles.

Three automatic pistols, several rounds of ammunition, TNT sticks, mobile phones, computers and radical Islamist literature were also found in the building.

Last October, Turkish police arrested nearly 100 Hezbollah militants in the southeast of the country.

Officials say the group is responsible for about 50 unsolved murders as well as numerous kidnappings and bomb attacks in the region.

The group is seeking to establish a strict Islamic state in secularist but overwhelmingly Muslim Turkey.

It is not thought to be connected to the pro-Iranian Lebanese group Hezbollah.

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See also:
01 Apr 99 |  Middle East
Turkish police seize 400 Islamists
03 May 99 |  Europe
Headscarf row in Turkey parliament

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