A suspected suicide bomber detonated an explosive device at the entrance of the U.S. Embassy in the Turkish capital on Friday and at least two people are dead, a police official said.
An Associated Press journalist saw a body in the street in front of an embassy side entrance. The bomb appeared to have exploded inside the security checkpoint at the entrance of the visa section of the embassy.
Several ambulances were dispatched to the area. An AP journalist saw at least one woman who appeared to be seriously injured being carried into an ambulance.
Private NTV television said two security guards at the entrance were killed.
The police official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government rules. The phones were not being answered at the embassy.
The embassy building is heavily protected. It is near an area where several other embassies, including that of Germany and France, are located. Police sealed off the area and journalists were being kept away.
There was no claim of responsibility, but Kurdish rebels and Islamic militants are active in Turkey. Kurdish rebels, who are fighting for autonomy in the Kurdish-dominated southeast, have dramatically stepped up attacks in Turkey over the last year.
As well, homegrown Islamic militants tied to al-Qaida have carried out suicide bombings in Istanbul, killing 58, in 2003. The targets were the British consulate, a British bank and two synagogues.
In 2008, an attack blamed on al-Qaida-affiliated militants outside the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul left three assailants and three policemen dead.