Gunfire heard outside Istanbul's Dolmabahce Palace: reports

ISTANBUL - Gunfire and a percussion bomb blast were heard Wednesday outside the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul, one of Turkey's main tourist attractions which also houses offices of the prime minister, reports said.

Two suspects carrying long range weapons and a bomb were later caught by police in the vicinity of the German consulate nearby, NTV television and the Dogan news agency reported.

The reports said that according to current information there were no reports of fatalities or injuries.

There was no immediate indication of who was behind the attack, which appeared to target the 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 jihadists and Kurdish militants.

The outlawed Marxist Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) had claimed a similar attack on the Dolmabahce Palace on January 1 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 but another wing hosts reception rooms and offices of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

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