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Car bomb explodes in western Turkish city of Izmir

© Dogan News Agency, AFP | Cars on fire near the courthouse in Izmir, Turkey, January 5, 2017.

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2017-01-06

Four people were killed, including the two attackers, after a car bomb exploded outside of a courthouse in the western Turkish coastal city of Izmir, according to local officials.

The blast was caused by a car bomb, Izmir municipality secretary general Bugra Gokce told broadcaster CNN Turk.

A security source told Reuters police had shot dead two attackers following the blast, and the state-run Anadolu news agency said they were searching for a third. Hospital sources said ten people had been brought in wounded.

A police officer and court employee were also killed in the attack, which took place at an entrance for judges and prosecutors, the Dogan News Agency reported.

Ambulances were seen rushing to the scene and at least one vehicle was burning near a courthouse in the city, local media reported.

Photographs posted on Twitter showed smoke rising from what appeared to be a car park near the courthouse.

There was no official claim of responsibility, but Turkish officials suspect Kurdish militants from the banned PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) were behind the attack.

'Evidence points to PKK'

"Initial evidence suggests the PKK was behind the attack," Erol Ayyildiz, Izmir provincial governor, told reporters hours after the attack.

There has been a rise in PKK attacks, primarily targeting Turkish security services, since a peace process with the outlawed group collapsed in 2015.

The explosion comes just days after a gunman stormed the upscale Reina nightclub on the Bosphorus early Sunday, spraying 120 bullets at terrified partygoers celebrating the start of 2017.

Of the 39 dead, 27 were foreigners including citizens from Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Tunisia and Morocco.

The attack was claimed by the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group who said it was in response to Turkey's military intervention in war-ravaged Syria.

Spate of terrorist attacks

Turkey has endured a spate of brutal terrorist attacks in which hundreds of people have been killed, in violence blamed on both IS group jihadists and Kurdish militants.

Turkey is also still reeling from a failed July 15 coup attempt which the government has blamed on US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen.

Parliament on Tuesday extended a controversial state of emergency in place since the coup – and which has seen over 41,000 people arrested – by another three months to April 19.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)

Date created : 2017-01-05

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