Sixteen injured in Turkey attack, second blast in days

Türkiye Materials 21 August 2008 19:41 (UTC +04:00)

At least 16 people were injured in a bomb attack on a police mini bus in the Turkish coastal city of Izmir on Thursday, two days after a suicide attack in the southern city of Mersin left nine wounded, dpa reported.

The blast on Thursday occurred in the city centre when a car loaded with plastic explosives was detonated as the police bus was passing by, Turkish broadcasters reported.

Among the injured were eight policemen, one military officer and two soldiers. Television coverage showed burning cars and damaged buildings close to the site of the blast.

Turkish Transport Minister Binali Yildirim blamed the attack on the prohibited Kurdistan Workers' Party, the PKK.

The Izmir bombing came just two days after a suicide bomber detonated explosives, injuring nine police officers in Mersin. No responsibility has yet been claimed for that attack and local police said it was not clear who was behind the bombing.

In the last week the Turkish military launched airstrikes against suspected PKK bases in northern Iraq in an effort to reduce the group's operational capability. In February Turkish forces conducted a week-long ground offensive against PKK fighters in Iraq, in which the army claimed to have killed 240 Kurdish militants.

The PKK has conducted an armed campaign against Turkey in support of Kurdish autonomy since the 1970s.