ANKARA, Turkey — An attacker armed with a knife tried to enter the Israeli Embassy in Turkey on Wednesday before being shot and slightly wounded by Turkish security officials, Turkish and Israeli officials said.
The Ankara governor’s office identified the man as Osman Nuri Caliskan, a Turkish national born in 1975, and said that a preliminary investigation indicated that he appeared to be mentally unstable and has no known links to any terror group.
The man was carrying a 30 centimeter (12-inch) -long knife and a bag and was captured by police after being shot in the leg.
The state-run Anadolu Agency said police guarding the embassy shot him in the leg after he took out a knife wrapped inside a newspaper, started to shout and ignored the security officers’ warnings to stop and drop the knife.
Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon told The Associated Press that all embassy staff were safe.
“The attacker was wounded before he reached the embassy,” Nashon said in a statement in Jerusalem, adding that the incident took place in the “outer perimeter” of the embassy.
The incident comes just months after Turkey and Israel reached an agreement to end a six-year rift, paving the way for the normalization of ties and the mutual re-appointment of ambassadors. The two countries were once close allies but tensions peaked in 2010 after Israeli commandos stormed an aid ship trying to breach Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Ten Turkish activists were killed in the raid.
Last month, police detained five people who tried to break into Israel’s consulate in Istanbul to protest Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip.
A statement from the Israeli Embassy said the assailant acted alone and tried to stab a Turkish police officer.
“One of the Turkish police officers situated in front of the Embassy responded immediately and shot the attacker in the foot in order to neutralize him,” the embassy said. “The police officer’s action brought the incident to an end.”
The statement said: The Embassy trusts the Turkish forces to control and investigate the incident.
Police blocked roads leading to the heavily protected embassy building. Turkish media reports said embassy staff has was moved to a shelter.
Turkey’s private NTV television and other media reports said the man walked past the embassy building several times, raising suspicion, before trying to enter the building.
Associated Press Writer Ian Deitch in Jerusalem contributed.