Knife-wielding man shot outside Israeli embassy in Turkey: officials

September 21, 2016 6:04 AM EDT

Riot police stand guard near the of Israeli Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, September 21, 2016. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

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By Umit Bektas and Jeffrey Heller

ANKARA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A man was shot and wounded by Turkish police outside the Israeli Embassy in Ankara after he shouted slogans and wielded a knife on Wednesday, but initial inquiries indicated he had no links to an organized group, officials said.

The man, a 41-year-old from the central city of Konya, was carrying a bag and brandishing a 30-cm (12-inch) knife as he approached the embassy, the Ankara governor's office said in a statement.

He was shot in the leg after ignoring a warning from police, it said, adding he did not appear to be linked to a group.

"According to initial examinations... (the man) appears mentally unstable, no criminal record or organizational links have been found."

Turkey faces multiple security threats, including Islamic State militants blamed for bombings in Istanbul and elsewhere, and Kurdish militants following the resumption of a three-decade insurgency in the mainly Kurdish southeast last year.

Police told Reuters the man shouted "Allahu akbar" ("God is greatest") outside the embassy before he was shot. Police were examining his bag but had not tried to detonate it, a Reuters photographer at the scene said. The area outside was only briefly cordoned off.

A spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Emmanuel Nahshon, said the attacker man was making his way toward a policeman, knife in hand, when he was shot.

Embassy staff were secure throughout the incident, he added.

Turkish media reports initially suggested that there had been two attackers, but the governor's office and police made no mention of a second assailant.

(Additional Reporting by Ece Toksabay in Ankara and Ori Lewis in Jerusalem; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Daren Butler/Mark Heinrich)

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