13 hurt as car bomber targets Turkish police

Image: Explosion in Izmir
Police and medics help the wounded after a car exploded as a minibus carrying police officers passed by in the western Turkish coastal city of Izmir on Thursday.Cem Oksuz / Anatolian Agency / EPA
/ Source: The Associated Press

A car bomb in western Turkey injured at least 13 people, mostly police officers, local media reported on Thursday.

The blast occurred near a bus carrying police officers in Izmir province, on the Aegean coast, private NTV television and state-run Anatolia news agency said.

"We believe that the explosion was caused by plastic explosives detonated with remote control," Gov. Cahit Kirac was quoted by Anatolia as saying.

Kirac reportedly said the explosion injured three soldiers and eight police officers. NTV said without citing sources that at least 13 were injured, including three civilians.

TV footage showed the smoldering car wreckage, with two police buses parked nearby. Police had cordoned off the area to investigate.

On Tuesday, another car explosion at a police checkpoint in the southern Mersin province wounded 13 officers — two of them seriously.

Two bombings last month in an Istanbul residential area killed 17 people and injured more than 150.

No one has claimed responsibility for those attacks, but Turkish officials blamed Kurdish rebels.

Rebels of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, have been fighting for self-rule in Turkey's eastern and southeastern parts.