Bomb blast kills two near court in western Turkish city
Iran Press TV
Thu Jan 5, 2017 1:32PM
An explosion has struck near a courthouse in the western Turkish city of Izmir, leaving two people dead and several others wounded.
According to broadcaster CNN Turk, ambulances have been dispatched to the site of the Thursday car bomb blast in Izmir, which is the third most populous city in Turkey, after Istanbul and Ankara.
Security officials said a Turkish police officer and an employee of the courthouse lost their lives in the incident.
The blast took place outside the prosecutors and judges' entrance.
The NTV television cited the mayor of Izmir's local Bayrakli municipality, Hassan Karabag, as saying that 10 people were wounded, one of them seriously.
Other reports said clashes erupted between the attackers and security forces at the scene.
Security sources say Turkish police have killed two attackers following the explosion, which comes days after a Daesh-affiliated attacker stormed a nightclub in Istanbul only hours into New Year and shot 39 people dead.
Police forces are now looking for a third assailant who managed to escape, according to the Anadolu news agency.
The Izmir governor said the attackers were armed Kalashnikov rifles.
Erol Ayyildiz added that initial findings indicate the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group has been behind the car bombing.
"A clash erupted after our police officers wanted to stop a vehicle at a police check point in front of Bayrakli courthouse. In this clash, terrorists detonated the car bomb while trying to escape," Ayyildiz told reporters.
Over the past few years, Turkey has seen a rise in terror attacks targeting civilians and security forces. Most of the assaults were claimed either by the PKK militants or Daesh terrorists.
Turkish cities and towns were struck by terror attacks over 20 times in 2016 alone.
The Izmir blast comes as Turkey is still reeling from the fatal shooting spree in Istanbul, which turned New Year celebrations there into a time of mourning.
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