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16 Jul, 2016 02:17

At least 60 dead in attempted Turkish coup as shootouts continue in Ankara & Istanbul

Intense gunfire has resumed in the Turkish capital, Ankara, by the parliament and General Staff buildings, with massive casualties reported as police battled pro-coup military forces. In Istanbul, at least six people were killed and 150 taken to hospitals.


Pro-government forces are now in control of Turkey’s military headquarters, Reuters quoted a senior Turkish official as saying. However, a small group of pro-coup soldiers is still fighting and have control of several military helicopters.  

A faction of pro-coup soldiers are still fighting fiercely against those who oppose them, Reuters cited Turkish military General Staff as saying in a statement. The soldiers are referring to themselves as the Peace at Home Movement and urging people to stay inside their homes for safety.

Earlier, the soldiers who attempted a military coup opened fire on people gathered at the parliament and General Staff buildings, Anadolu news agency reported, adding that there were casualties.

The prosecutor’s office has announced that at least 60 people were killed during the coup attempt.

A total of about 800 people are in hospitals, including some 200 in Ankara, President of Red Crescent Turkey Dr Kerem Kinik said.

The presidential palace in Ankara was hit by a bomb dropped by one of the aircraft controlled by the pro-coup military, NTV reported. Footage of black smoke rising from the area has been posted on Twitter.

The aircraft was allegedly an F-16 jet and it dropped two bombs, Daily Sabah reported, adding that people were injured in the attack. Earlier, images on Twitter allegedly showed a human shield around the fence of the presidential complex.

Five people died as bombs landed near the presidential palace in Ankara, state-run Anadolu Agency said.

Earlier, Parliament Speaker Ismail Kahraman said that nobody had been killed during the attacks on the parliament, although a few police officers had been injured. All the deputies are safe and unharmed, AP reported him as saying.

READ MORE: At least 17 policemen killed in Ankara helicopter attack – reports

Kahraman stated that a bomb hit a corner of a public relations building inside the parliament complex, injuring a number of officers.

Over 130 people have been detained in connection with the “failed” coup attempt, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said. Images show soldiers being escorted away by citizens.

Yildirim told the public that “things are getting better every minute” and called on people to remain in the streets in support of the government.

He added that jets seized by coup plotters were still in the air, but that the Air Force had orders to shoot them down.

At least 150 people were admitted to Istanbul’s Haydarpasa Numune Hospital with injures, AP reported. Earlier, local broadcaster NTV said that at least six dead bodies were transported to the same hospital.

The remaining soldiers on Istanbul’s Bosporus Bridge have surrendered, according to local reports.

Istanbul’s Bosporus Strait has been closed off to tanker traffic by the authorities, Reuters quoted a shipping agent from GAC, one of world’s largest ship agencies, as saying.

READ MORE: Soldiers ‘surrender weapons’ on Istanbul’s Taksim Square amid reports of fighting with casualties

READ MORE: ‘Not going anywhere’: Erdogan gives defiant Istanbul airport speech, downplaying attempted coup