Deadly blast hits western Turkish city of Izmir

At least two killed in blast near a court, while police have killed two attackers in coastal city, governor says.

    An explosion outside a court in the Turkish Aegean city of Izmir has killed at least two people, including a police officer, and wounded several others, according to a statement by the governor of the city.

    Two attackers were killed in a gunfight with the security forces following the blast caused by a car bomb, the state-run Anadolu news agency said on Thursday, adding that police were searching for the third attacker.

    The governor of Izmir, Erol Ayyıldız, told reporters that a police officer and a court employee were killed in the incident.

    At least six wounded people were taken to hospital in the city located on the country's western coast, he said.

    The assailants carried out the attack after they were stopped at a checkpoint outside the court, the governor added.

    Burning vehicles

    Vehicles were burning and ambulances were rushed to the blast site, according to the photographs shown on national television networks.

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    Damage was reported around the area close to one of the gates of the court, where the blast happened, Turkish media said.

    Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak said a much larger attack was apparently being planned, based on the weapons found at the scene of the bombing.

    "Based on the preparation, the weapons, bombs and ammunition seized, it is understood that a big atrocity was being planned," Kaynak told reporters.

    Al Jazeera's Mohammed Jamjoom, reporting from Istanbul, said the latest attack shows how volatile the security situation in Turkey is.

    "It is interesting that this happened today because just yesterday there was news from officials that at least 20 people were detained in relation to the attack on the Reina nightclub on the New Year's Eve," he said.

    "There is a massive manhunt going on over the incident."

    A gunman stormed the Istanbul nightclub killing 39 people during New Year celebrations on Sunday. 


    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


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