Armed cop attempts suicide at Istanbul hospital

Istanbul - A Turkish hospital official says an armed police officer receiving psychiatric treatment at an Istanbul hospital barricaded himself into a room and attempted to commit suicide on Wednesday, causing panic.

Earlier, Turkish media reports said the man had taken doctors and other staff hostage at Istanbul's Cerrahpasa hospital. But the hospital spokesperson, shown on Dogan news agency video, says all staff have been evacuated from the psychiatry unit and police negotiators are trying to persuade the man not to kill himself.

Zekayi Kutlubay, the hospital's chief physician, said all staff has been evacuated from the psychiatry unit and the police officer was alone.

"He is alone in the room," Kutlubay told reporters outside of the hospital. "There is no hostage crisis ... God willing, we will convince him."

Kutlubay said the officer had been receiving psychiatric treatment for the past two years and the police force had confiscated his gun.

"The gun is not his, but unfortunately he has a gun with him," the physician said.

Turkey is on edge following a spate of deadly attacks, including an armed assault at an Istanbul nightclub during a New Year's celebration that killed 39 people.

The hospital official who spoke to reporters outside the hospital was not immediately identified.

[This story has been edited to clarify incorrect reports]

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