A suspected suicide bomber said to be targeting Turkey's Justice Minister was shot dead Friday after he tried to set off an explosive device, Turkish officials say. The man identified as Eyup Beyaz is said to be a member of an illegal far-left group that also targets western governments and businesses.
Turkish television showed live footage of police chasing the man and shooting him dead outside the Justice Ministry in Ankara's commercial Kizilay district. Turkish Justice Minister Cemil Cicek played down the incident saying business at his ministry was continuing as usual.
Witnesses said the suspected bomber tried to enter the Justice Ministry in the morning and that the device strapped to his body set off security sensors. Police grabbed him as he tried to detonate the device. He escaped in the ensuing scuffle only to be shot dead minutes later.
The man was said to have been sought by police for the past two years in connection with another attack he carried out for the extreme left wing group known as DHKP-C. The group, which is also active in Turkey's largely Kurdish province of Tunceli is on the U.S. State Department's list of terrorist groups and is responsible for the slayings of two U.S. military contractors and the wounding of a U.S. Air Force officer in the 1990s.