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Two suspects apprehended after Istanbul shooting

Two suspects reportedly shot at a police watchbox near an Ottoman palace on the Bosphorus
An unverified photo of the two suspects as they were apprehended near the German consulate in Istanbul (Twitter/@HDNER)

Two suspects with an assortment of guns and grenades were captured in Istanbul on Wednesday after allegedly attacking a police watchbox in front of a major tourist attraction, according to local reports.

Gunfire and a percussion bomb were heard outside Dolmabahce Palace, which houses Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's Istanbul offices, on the European side of the Bosphorus at midday.

The assailants reportedly fled, with carrying two hand grenades, an automatic rifle, a gun and other ammunition, toward the German consulate and were apprehended, according to CNN Turk. No injuries were reported.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but the state-run Anatolia news agency said that the suspects were members of the militant left wing Revolutionary People's Liberation Front (DHKP-C). 

The attackers appeared to target soldiers who stand on ceremonial guard outside the Ottoman-era palace during the day.

The incident came during growing tensions in Turkey as the government wages an unprecedented "anti-terror" offensive against the Islamic State group and Kurdish militants.

The outlawed Marxist Revolutionary People's Liberation Party–Front (DHKP-C) had claimed a similar attack on the Dolmabahce Palace on 1 January where two grenades were hurled at the guards which failed to explode.

Dolmabahce - one of the last great palaces of the Ottoman Empire and also where the founder of modern Turkey Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, died in 1938 - is one of Istanbul's major tourist attractions.

Part of the palace is open to the public with another wing hosting reception rooms and the prime minister's offices.

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