Masked gunmen kill one person in Church in Istanbul

Two masked gunmen shot one person dead during Sunday service at a Church in Istanbul on Sunday, Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said, adding that authorities were working to capture the assailants.

Yerlikaya, who condemned the attack, said it took place around 0840 GMT at the Italian Santa Maria Catholic Church in the Sariyer district.

“C.T., who was among those participating in the service, was the target of a gun attack by two masked individuals and sadly lost his life,” the minister said on social media platform X, referring to the initials of the victim.

Speaking to reporters outside the church, Istanbul Governor Davut Gul said the victim was a Turkish national and that no one else was hurt. He said the attackers only fired at one person.

It was not immediately clear what the motive for the attack was or why the victim was targeted. Footage from the site showed several police cars and an ambulance outside the church.

President Tayyip Erdogan called the church’s priest, a local administrator from his ruling party, and Poland’s consul general in Istanbul to offer his condolences, his office said.

Pope Francis conveyed his condolences over the attack after his weekly Angelus prayer.

“I express my closeness to the community of Saint Mary Draperis Church in Istanbul that suffered an armed attack during mass that caused one death,” he said.

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