[QODLink]
Europe
Blast targets police bus in Istanbul
At least 16 people reported injured in explosion near city headquarters of Justice and Development Party.
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012 11:42
Forensic investigators sealed off the area around the blast immediately after the explosion [AFP]

An explosion in the Turkish city of Istanbul near the country's ruling party's headquarters has injured at least 16 people, most of them policemen, the Turkish state news agency reports.

Istanbul police chief Huseyin Capkin said an explosive device was placed on a motorcycle and set off by remote control as a police vehicle drove past, near the Justice and Development Party (AKP) building and the offices of a conservative business association.

"As a police vehicle carrying 21 officers was passing by, a remote control bomb on a motorcycle exploded. Our teams are carrying out the investigation," Capkin told reporters, adding that none of the injured were in critical condition. Fifteen of the injured were police officers, the Anatolia news agency reported.

Huseyin Avni Mutlu, the governor of Istanbul, said the device was composed of plastic explosives.

State media reported that a vehicle and a police bus were damaged in the explosion early on Thursday morning in the Sutluce district.

The bus came to a halt about 50 metres away, said an eyewitness. Forensic teams quickly covered it in blue nylon sheets as experts searched the cordoned-off area for fragments of the bomb.

Police had immediately sealed off the area, as a precautionary measure were a second explosion to occur. There was no initial claim of responsibility.

Istanbul has been a target of periodic bombings in recent years, including a 2008 bombing blamed on Kurdish separatist fighters that killed 17 people and injured scores more.

Three people were killed in Ankara, the Turkish capital, in September last year in a bombing claimed by a group called the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), which Turkish officials say is a front used by the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK.

"We will never bow to such attacks," Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, told a televised news conference after Thursday's attack. "We will continue our struggle against terrorism and the culprits will be captured as soon as possible."

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.