Drive-by shooting at U.S. embassy in Turkish capital, no casualties

Drive-by shooting at U.S. embassy in Turkish capital, no casualties

Drive-by shooting at U.S. embassy in Turkish capital, no casualties

Gunshots were fired early on Monday at the United States embassy in Ankara but caused no casualties, Turkish and American officials said, amid escalating tensions between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) allies.

The suspects are being interrogated at a police station in Ankara.

"We can confirm a security incident took place at the US Embassy early this morning".

Celikten had escaped prison and Gundas had several crimes under his belt, including auto theft, drugs and threats, the governor's office said.

The attack in the Turkish capital happened shortly after 7am local time.

Ankara Governor's Office named the suspects as Ahmet Celikten and Osman Gundas; the 9mm pistol and vehicle used in the shooting incident were also seized.

US administration had imposed sanctions and vows to do more against Turkey in the case the pastor would not be released immediately. "We appreciate their support and protection", the U.S. Mission in Turkey said on Twitter.

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The attack comes amid tensions rising between Ankara and the United States over the detention of Andrew Brunson, an American pastor, in Turkey over terror-related charges. Turkey has condemned the attack.

"Turkey is a safe country and all foreign missions remain safe under the law". Gulen denies those allegations, and Washington has urged Turkey to present convincing evidence for any extradition proceeding to go forward.

The diplomatic stand-off has sent the Turkish currency into free fall against dollar although President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to lead the country out of the crisis.

The president said those who believe they will bring Turkey to its knees through the foreign currency exchange rate "will soon see they are mistaken".

USA diplomatic offices have been targeted in the past in Turkey, where various armed groups are active. In 2013, a suicide bomber killed a Turkish guard and himself outside the embassy in Ankara.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu called the attack "provocative" in a tweet.

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