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Istanbul palace shooter attempted ‘Norway-like massacre’
[03.12.2011, 09:12am, Sat. GMT]
A Libyan gunman who wounded two people at a popular Istanbul tourist attraction had attempted to carry out a massacre in the Ottoman-era Topkapı Palace, news reports said on Friday. The gunman, identified as 36-year-old Samir Salem Ali Elmadhavri, wounded a soldier and a private security guard before police snipers killed him. The motive for the attack is under investigation and it is not known if the attacker was affiliated with any groups or organizations, Today's Zaman reported.Video footage released by Turkish media outlets on Friday shows police and the Libyan gunman exchanging fire near the entrance gate of the palace. News reports said he shouted, "This will be a massacre like in Norway," referring to a July 22 massacre at a summer camp organized by the youth division of Norway's ruling Labor Party, in which 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik shot randomly at participants and killed 69 people before being captured by police.

It was not possible to verify Elmadhavri's threat from the footage. Private NTV news stations said the man, who arrived at the scene in a car with a Syrian license plate, shouted in English.

Reports said non-commissioned officer Levent Torgut successfully stalled the Libyan gunman for 45 minutes, preventing him from proceeding inside the palace complex and reaching hundreds of tourists who were lined up to buy tickets.

Elmadhavri was killed by snipers after a clash that lasted more than an hour. His attack came on the same day as Turkey announced sanctions on the Syrian regime to pressure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stop a bloody crackdown on anti-regime protests.
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