Turkish police shoot tractor driver who rams cars near Israeli envoy’s residence
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Turkish police shoot tractor driver who rams cars near Israeli envoy’s residence

Wounded driver says he planned a protest outside the Israeli embassy

Forensic officers work at the scene after a tractor crashed into cars outside a residence, in Ankara, Turkey, Oct. 16, 2018 (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Forensic officers work at the scene after a tractor crashed into cars outside a residence, in Ankara, Turkey, Oct. 16, 2018 (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Police in Ankara on Tuesday shot the driver of a tractor that struck a series of cars in the Turkish capital. The driver, who ignored calls to stop and was shot in the leg, later told police he planned a protest outside the Israeli embassy, the state-run news agency reported.

The man, a 45-year-old farmer, was eventually stopped in an area close to the Israeli ambassador’s residence. It was unclear whether the driver mistook the residence for the embassy.

An Israeli official, who did not wish to be named, said, “To the best of our understanding, the incident was not related to Israel or its embassy.”

The Ankara governor’s office said the man had been under treatment for psychological problems since 2007.

Turkish security members work at the scene after a tractor crashed into cars outside a residence, in Ankara, Turkey, Oct. 16, 2018 (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Anadolu Agency said police guarding the parliament building fired warning shots into the air to stop the tractor on Ataturk Boulevard, which is lined with government buildings and embassies. The report said the tractor continued on its way, hitting and crushing cars before coming to a halt.

Anadolu said the man told police before being taken to a hospital that he planned to stage a protest outside the Israeli embassy.

A forensic officer collects samples as evidence at the scene where a tractor crashed into cars outside a residence, in Ankara, Turkey, Oct. 16, 2018 (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

The Israeli ambassador returned to Israel in May following a diplomatic dispute between the two countries.

The Ankara governor’s office said in a statement that the incident was being investigated but officials could find no links to terror.

In 2016 a Turkish man with psychological problems tried to storm the Israeli embassy in Ankara but was shot before reaching the building. The man, armed with a 30-centimeter (12-inch) knife, ran towards the embassy shouting slogans and was shot in the leg. Israel’s Foreign Ministry said the assailant was shot by a local guard and that no embassy staff were wounded.

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