A man, on the grounds that it is acting “for Gaza”, is holding several workers hostage inside a factory of the American group Procter & Gamble (P&G) located on the outskirts of Istanbul, in the northwestern part of Turkey, local police told AFP.

The man is armed, according to Turkish media, and is holding seven employees hostage, the Umut-Sen union said.

The attacker justified his act as a protest against Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip, the police source confirmed.

A photo released by local media shows a man inside the factory. His face is covered with a Palestinian headscarf and he is carrying what appears to be an explosive device.

Another photo shows the man holding a gun in one hand and with the other hand making the victory sign (‘V’) in front of a wall painted with Turkish and Palestinian flags.

Demiroren news agency reported that the unidentified man holding a gun entered the factory in the Gebze industrial zone in Kocaeli province around 15:00 local time (14:00 Greek time).

Police officers have rushed to the scene.

The provincial governor is on his way to the site, private television network NTV reported.