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Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

Turkey blast leads to deadly shootout

Security personnel attend the explosion site in the Aegean city of Izmir. Picture: Emre Tazegul/AP

TWO attackers have detonated a car bomb at a police checkpoint near a courthouse in the western Turkish city of Izmir, before being killed in a shootout with police.

A police officer and a courthouse employee also died in the gunfight while another attacker is believed to have escaped.

Cars burn after a car bomb explosion in Izmir. Picture: APSource:AP

The explosion occurred near a courthouse entrance in the resort town that is used by judges, prosecutors and other employees.

The attack comes a day after police detained some 20 people in Izmir believed to have links to an Islamic State gunman who launched a deadly assault on a nightclub in Istanbul during New Year’s celebrations.

Security personnel attend the explosion site. Picture: Emre Tazegul/APSource:AP

District Mayor Hasan Karadag told NTV television earlier that 10 people were wounded in the explosion and one of them was in serious condition. A firefight between three of the suspected attackers and police erupted after the blast, and two of the assailants were killed, he said.

A woman cries at the scene. Picture: APSource:AP

Turkey’s state-run news agency said police are looking for a third suspect who was on the run, described as wearing a black coat and a white beret. Several ambulances and police were dispatched to the scene.

Izmir Governor Erol Ayyildiz said preliminary signs indicated that the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, was behind the attack. He said police seized an automatic rifle, a rocket launcher and eight hand grenades.

The bomb blast led to a shootout between the attackers and police. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

The incident follows a string of attacks, carried out by the Islamic State group or by Kurdish militants, which have left Turkey on edge.

Thirty-nine people were killed in the Istanbul nightclub attack by a lone gunman who is still at large.

State-run Anadolu Agency said preliminary reports said two police officers were among the wounded who were taken to nearby hospitals.

Emergency services stand at the scene of an explosion that wounded 10. Picture: APSource:AP