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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Police Officer, Court Employee Killed in Izmir, Turkey, Car Bombing

By VOA News January 05, 2017

Suspected Kurdish militants set off a car bomb near a courthouse in Turkey's western city of Izmir Thursday, killing a police officer and a courthouse employee, authorities said.

"A clash erupted after our police officers wanted to stop a vehicle at a police checkpoint in front of Bayrakli Courthouse," provincial governor Erol Ayyildiz told reporters in comments broadcast live. "In this clash, terrorists detonated the car bomb while trying to escape."

VOA's Turkish service said a vehicle at the scene was burning.

Authorities say two of the assailants were shot dead and there were reports that a third was being sought. VOA's Turkish service said a vehicle at the scene was burning. At least 10 people were wounded in the attack. Several ambulances rushed to the scene, taking victims to the hospital as police secured the area.

Governor Ayyildiz also said the assailants were in possession of automatic rifles, rocket launchers and hand grenades and that preliminary indications suggest the Kurdish Workers Party, or PKK, was behind the assault. The outlawed PKK is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. The governor also said a second, and possibly more serious incident, had been foiled.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for Thursday's car bombing in Izmir, an Aegean coastal city. The explosion follows a New Year's shooting rampage at a nightclub in Istanbul in which 39 people were killed.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the shooting at the Reina nightclub, saying it was in retaliation for Turkey's military operations in northern Syria. Reports say authorities are closing in on the gunman.

VOA's Turkish service contributed to this report.

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