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Turkish police raid suspected leftist militants

Turkish police have detained several suspected members of a banned ultra-leftist group in a series of raids in Istanbul. The arrests come after two deadly shootouts in the city.

Dozens of police and armored vehicles descended on Istanbul's Okmeydani district on Thursday, according to Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency. At least 10 people with suspected links to a left-wing group were taken into custody.

The raids follow a

deadly standoff at an Istanbul courthouse

on Tuesday, which

ended with the deaths of a prosecutor

and the two gunmen who were holding him captive. Authorities believe the hostage takers belonged to the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).

On Wednesday, police

fatally shot a woman

who was allegedly armed with a bomb and a gun near Istanbul's main police headquarters. Turkish media named the deceased assailant as 28-year-old Elif Sultan Kalsen, saying she was a known member of the radical group.

Later that day around 30 DHKP-C suspects were detained in the cities of Antalya, Izmir and Eskisehir.

Newspapers in probe

The Marxist DHKP-C is vehemently opposed to the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and says it is seeking revenge for the deaths of protesters who were killed during anti-government protests in 2013. It's believed the group took Istanbul prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz captive on Tuesday because he was investigating the death of a teenage boy who was hit by a police gas canister during the unrest.

On Thursday, Turkish prosecutors launched an investigation into local newspapers Hurriyet, Cumhuriyet, Posta and Bugun, who had published an image of the prosecutor being held in his office at gunpoint during the siege that resulted in his death. The publications have been accused of making "terrorist propaganda" for the DHKP-C.

In a controversial move, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu subsequently barred those newspapers from attending the prosecutor's funeral.

nm/rc (AP, AFP)

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