Five Armenian terrorists died in a suicide attack on the Turkish Embassy today in which the wife of the Turkish charge d'affaires was also killed and her son wounded.
Interior Minister Eduardo Pereira said that a Portuguese police officer died in an explosion set off by the raiders inside the embassy one hour after they took over the building.
A police security guard was also wounded in the attack, responsibility for which was claimed by a little-known group calling itself the Armenian Revolutionary Army.
It was the second attack against Turkish diplomats in Lisbon in 13 months. On June 7, 1982, commercial attache Erkut Akbay was shot to death by a lone assassin outside his home. His wife was injured and died eight months later. Another Armenian terrorist group, the Justice Commandos for the Armenian Genocide, said it was responsible for those murders.
Today's takeover was the latest in a series of bloody attacks by Armenian terrorists against Turkish targets.
Armenian gunmen also claimed responsibility for the assassination of a Turkish diplomat outside his home in Brussels on July 14. The following day a suitcase bomb exploded at Orly Airport in Paris, killing seven people that waited to board a Turkish airlines jet..
An Armenian terrorist group that calls itself the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia, probably the largest and best-known of the Armenian terrorist groups, claimed responsibility for the Paris blast.
At least 50 people, including 20 Turkish diplomats, have died in the past decade in shootings and bombing raids linked to the Armenian cause--vengeance for the alleged massacre of their people by Turkey in 1915, a charge that Turkey denies.
Witnesses of today's attack said the five terrorists approached the two-story embassy building by car, then ran up spraying machine- pistol fire at guards outside.
One raider was killed in the shooting and a guard seriously wounded in the legs.
Police were able to shut the doors to the embassy section of the building and the attackers then forced their way into the adjoining ambassador's residence.
Police said they seized Charge d'Affaires Mustafa Mihcioglu, his wife, Cahide, and son as hostages. The Turkish ambassador to Portugal was assigned to another post on July 17 and has not been replaced as yet.
Hundreds of armed police backed by armored cars surrounded the building not far from the presidential palace and blocked off neighboring streets. The terrorists inside established radio contact with police.
Thirty minutes after they seized the residence, at 11:05 a.m. local time, the raiders said they would blow up the building.
At noon, a blast on the top floor of the building blew out windows and set the residence ablaze with thick plumes of black smoke pouring out.
In a typewritten message left in a news agency mail box, the group said, "We have decided to blow up this building and remain under its ruins. This is not suicide but a sacrifice to the altar of freedom."
The charge and his family managed to reach the entrance of the building immediately after the explosion. His wife, seriously wounded by the blast, was pronouced dead on arrival at a hospital. The diplomat was treated for slight injuries and released, but his son was hospitalized for treatment of a leg wound.
Two hours after the blast, men from Portugal's antiterrorist squad, wearing black masks and bullet-proof vests, drew up in two vehicles inside the police cordon.
They ran into the building, throwing stun grenades and opening fire with machine guns.
They met no resistance and found five charred bodies on the first floor. Four were later identified as those of terrorists and the fifth as that of the police officer who had climbed through a window into the residence shorty after the assault began.
The interior minister said the dead terrorists were all later identified as men aged from 19 to 21 with Armenian names.
Armed police also surrounded the British Embassy this morning after the government was alerted that the British and Turkish diplomatic missions might be attacked, Pereira said. The U.S. and French embassies later also asked for increased police protection.