ANKARA, March 20 (Xinhua) -- An armed attack on the security forces on Thursday in Turkey's central province of Nigde was a " nefarious terrorist attack," Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
"Two soldiers and one police officer have been martyred. Two of the assailants were captured alive and our security forces are conducting a search for the third one," Erdogan was quoted as saying by daily Hurriyet.
The attack might have connection to Syria, private Dogan News Agency reported, citing Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay.
"There is a note of Syria in the info. They might want to trouble the election environment," Atalay said, referring to the upcoming local elections set on March 30.
Three gunmen riding a truck fired at a checkpoint on Ulukisla- Adana highway in Nigde province on Thursday morning, killing two soldiers and one police officer, wounding four others, private Dogan news agency reported.
The assailants who escaped from the highway broke into a health center in Eminlik village and took the people inside hostage.
After a one-hour operation by security forces, the hostages were rescued and two of the three assailants were captured, one still missing, according to the report.