A suicide attack against the United States Embassy in Ankara Friday left two people dead, a security guard and the bomber.

The attack took place at a security post at the rear entrance to the mission, which provides access to the consular section.

The attacker was identified as a man named Ecevit Sanli.

Interior Minister Muammer Güler confirmed to the press that the attacker was a member of "an illegal leftist organization," the usual way of referring to the Revolutionary Front for Popular Liberation Party, or DHKP/C.

Another two guards were wounded in the explosion, while a journalist applying for a U.S. visa at the embassy suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries.

After the attack, embassies in Ankara raised their surveillance levels and police cordoned off the area, as the United States legation declared a red alert and stationed snipers on the roof, the Turkish daily Hürriyet said.

The embassy issued a communique to warn U.S. citizens not to visit "until further notice" either the embassy or the consulates in Istanbul and Adana, and "to be alert to the potential for violence, to avoid those areas where disturbances have occurred, and to avoid demonstrations and large gatherings."

The attacker was arrested in 1997 after taking part in an attack on an army garrison and remained behind bars until 2002, police officials told the daily Radikal.

The DHKP/C has carried out a dozen attacks since the 1990s. The latest took place in December, when a pair of activists gunned down a policeman in Istanbul.

Ten days ago authorities detained 21 people including nine attorneys on charges of belonging to the DHKP/C, which set off a number of protests. EFE