Turkish police have killed two female militants that attacked a police station in Istanbul after a standoff at a nearby building, according to Turkey's state-run news agency. A large police operation was launched after the women threw hand grenades at the gates of a riot police station in the north-western Bayrampasa district, on the European side of the city, before opening fire.

A video uploaded online showed the two, wearing head-covering hooded jackets, firing at a police bus approaching the compound as bystanders flee in panic. One could be seen pulling an object, believed to be a grenade, from her bag before hurling it towards the vehicle.

An armed confrontation with security forces ensued. A police officer and one of the militants were reportedly injured. The attackers escaped aboard a getaway vehicle and holed up in a nearby building. Images from the scene showed a large number of security forces deployed in the area that was cordoned off. Later, security forces stormed the building, killing the two women.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the incident. Turkey has suffered a series of attacks from Islamist militants as well as Kurdish separatists in recent months. In January, ten people, mostly German tourists, were killed in a suicide bombing at Istanbul's iconic Sultanahmet Square that was blamed on the Islamic State (Isis) group.

A month later another suicide bomber identified by the government as a Syrian man with ties to the banned Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK), killed 28 people in the capital, Ankara. The attack was however claimed by another Kurdish militant group known as Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK).