Two killed in car bomb attack in Turkey’s İzmir
REUTERS photoA car bomb attack in the Aegean province of İzmir near the courthouse killed at least two people on Jan. 5, the İzmir Governor has announced.
Governor Erol Ayyıldız said one of the victims was a police officer while the other was an employee at the İzmir courthouse, adding that around seven people were also wounded and two militants were killed.
Police officer identified as Fethi Sekin apparently prevented an even bigger attack by noticing the bomb-laden car on time and intervening.
He said an armed clash erupted with militants as police attempted to stop and search the car.
The governor also stated that the militants were killed in clashes while two Kalashnikov and eight hand grenades were also seized.
According to Ayyıldız, another car was also detonated near the scene.
Ayyıldız also said initial findings suggested that the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was responsible for the attack. Doğan News Agency said a third militant might be on the run and the police was conducting an operation.
The attack occurred near a police checkpoint at the entrance for judges and prosecutors of the courthouse at around 4 p.m.
A number of ambulances were immediately dispatched to the scene. The wounded were taken to nearby hospitals.
Turkey’s media watchdog, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), also announced a temporary gag order on reporting the attack.
The attack marked the second in just the first five days of 2017, as the country was rocked by a series of major terror attacks last year, which killed at least 275 people and wounded thousands.
A gunman opened fire on New Year revelers at a packed nightclub on the shores of Istanbul’s Bosporus on Jan. 1 killing at least 39 people, including many foreigners, before fleeing the scene.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) had claimed responsibility for the attack.
In December, 2016, two bombs placed by PKK militants exploded outside a football stadium in central Istanbul, killing 44 people.
On Dec. 17, 2016, a car bomb by the PKK killed at least 13 soldiers and wounded 56 when it ripped through a bus carrying off-duty soldiers in the central city of Kayseri.