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Gunman in Istanbul shooting spree a Libyan national: minister

(Xinhua)

13:36, December 01, 2011

Police secure the site of a shooting attack in Istanbul, Turkey, on Nov. 30, 2011. Three people were wounded Wednesday by an unidentified man at the historic Sultanahmet Square in Turkey's largest city of Istanbul, local media reported. (Xinhua/Ma Yan)

ISTANBUL, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Turkish Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin said that the killed gunman who wounded three people with a pump-action rifle in a tourist district of Istanbul on Wednesday was a national of Libya.

Sahin said the lone gunman was a 36-year-old Libyan man who had arrived at the scene in a vehicle with a Syrian plate.

The gunman was killed in a shootout with police after wounding a police officer, a soldier and a tourist in the Sultanahmet district of the city.

A witness said the assailant walked into Topkapi Palace and closed the doors at the entrance to the palace complex after shooting a soldier in the leg.

The assailant engaged in a shootout with police for more than an hour inside the Ottoman-era palace, one of Istanbul's major tourist attractions.

It was not immediately possible to verify the identity or the motives of the assailant.

Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu said authorities will make a statement on the assailant's identity and motives after further investigation.

He had earlier said the motives appeared to be "personal."

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