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Knife-wielding Attacker At Israeli Embassy Shot By Police In Turkey

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Turkish security forces on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 shot and wounded a knife-wielding man who attempted to attack the Israeli embassy in the Turkish capital, officials say.

The Wall Street Journal reports that alleged attacker was shot in the calf after he refused to follow orders to stop as he shouted slogans and approached the embassy, the Ankara governor’s office said. All embassy staff were safe, Israel’s foreign ministry said.

The governor’s office identified the suspect as Osman Nuri Caliskan, a 41-year old Turkish citizen from Konya in central Turkey, who was carrying a 12-inch-long knife and a bag.

It said that Mr. Caliskan did not appear to have ties to any organization and suggested he may be mentally unstable.

The incident comes amid persistent security concerns across Turkey about attacks on diplomats, Westerners, and tourists. Last week, the British and German embassies in Ankara temporarily closed their doors due to security concerns.

Over the past year, Turkey has been hit by a series of attacks by Islamic extremists and Kurdish militants who have targeted Istanbul’s airport, the city’s tourist hubs, busy Ankara squares and even a wedding party near the Syrian border.

In March, three Israeli tourists and one Iranian were killed by a suicide bomber on one of Istanbul’s busiest pedestrian malls. While no one claimed responsibility for the attack, Turkish officials said the attacker was part of Islamic State.

The following month, Israeli urged its citizens in Turkey to leave the country as soon as possible due to imminent security threats.

Israel and Turkey are working to repair years of difficult relations.

Last month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan approved a deal to normalize relations with Israel that frayed in 2010 after Israeli commandos raided a Turkish ship carrying activists trying to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. Nine Turkish citizens and one Turkish-American died as a result of the attack.

The agreement will lead to a restoration of full diplomatic relations between Israel and Turkey. Israel has already allowed Turkey to send in humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

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