Two killed in Izmir explosion, PKK suspected of attack – governor (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)
A police officer and a courthouse employee have been killed in an explosion outside Izmir courthouse in western Turkey. The governor of Izmir said that initial findings suggest Kurdish PKK militants were behind the attack.
Reuters reports that two suspected attackers have been killed following clashes with police.
Dogan News Agency reports that a search has begun for a third suspect, citing the state-run Andalou agency.
Five other people were injured in the blast, according to the governor of Izmir, Erol Ayyildiz.
İzmir adliye patlama çatışma sesleri varmış pic.twitter.com/EpuKU3iIYM— Aykut Kaya (@aykutcky) 5 January 2017
Large explosion reported near the courthouse in Izmir Turkey. pic.twitter.com/Y7yaY2C8i7— Darl van Dijk (@Lastcombo) 5 January 2017
İzmir Bayraklı adliyesi önünde patlama oldu: 💥 pic.twitter.com/QN2PaVbxyA— Caner Bayrak (@Canerbayrak) 5 January 2017
The news outlet reports that a car bomb exploded right in front of the flag near the courthouse, causing damage to several vehicles.
Weapons have been found at the scene suggesting a much larger attack was planned, according to Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak, as reported by Reuters.
"Based on the preparation, the weapons, bombs and ammunition seized, it is understood that a big atrocity was being planned," Kaynak told reporters in comments during a live broadcast.
Kaynak insisted the attack would not stop Turkey's military involvement in Syria and Iraq.
Police officers are believed to be among the injured, according to Dogan.
The governor of Izmir has confirmed the deaths of a police officer and a courthouse employee, and said five people were injured in the attack, some critically.
He said the attackers were armed with Kalashnikov rifles and grenades. Initial investigations suggest the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) were responsible for the attack, according to the governor.
Ambulances have been dispatched following explosion near courthouse in Izmir. At least three wounded in the blast according to Turkish media pic.twitter.com/rccs46IGhn— erkan avci (@avcierkan) 5 January 2017
The secretary general of the city municipality, Bugra Gokce, confirmed to CNN Turk that the explosion was caused by a car bomb.
The carpark was reserved for prosecutors and judges, according to CNN Turk.
A temporary media gag order has been issued on the attack, according to Hurriyet.
The suspected terror attack comes less than a week after 39 people were shot dead on New Year’s Eve at a nightclub in Istanbul. Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack.
Turkish officials say they have established the identity of the gunman, but have not released his name. The man, who is thought to be of Uyghur ethnicity, according to Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak, is still at large.