ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Eight police officers and three soldiers were wounded on Thursday by a car bomb which ripped through a minibus in the western Turkish city of Izmir, the local governor said.
Television pictures showed clouds of smoke rising from the scene of the explosion as concerned residents looked on amid the wail of emergency service sirens.
“Our assessment is that the explosion was caused by plastic explosives detonated by remote control,” Izmir Governor Cahit Kirac was quoted as saying by state-run Anatolian news agency.
A colonel was among the three soldiers hurt in the blast when a parked car exploded as a minibus carrying police officers passed by, he said.
The blast shattered windows in the surrounding area, which was near a police housing complex in the Konak district of the Aegean port city of Izmir, Turkey’s third-largest city.
Local police confirmed details of the attack.
Islamist militants, Kurdish and leftist guerrillas have often carried out bomb attacks in Turkey in the past.
A suspected suicide bomber detonated explosives in his car in Turkey’s southern Mersin province on Tuesday, killing himself and injuring nine police officers.
Sabah newspaper said on Thursday the explosives used in that blast were the same as those used in a double bombing last month in Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul, in which 17 people were killed.
Officials have blamed those bombings on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) guerrillas. The PKK took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984 with the aim of creating an ethnic homeland in southeast Turkey. Some 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
Last month’s attacks were the most lethal in Turkey since 2003 when Islamist al Qaeda militants carried out a series of bombings in Istanbul, killing more than 60 people.