Istanbul: ‘Deadly blast’ hits police bus in Vezneciler

At least 11 people have been killed by a blast which targeted a police bus in central Istanbul, officials say. The remote-controlled device was reportedly detonated as the vehicle passed through the busy Vezneciler district at the morning rush hour.



No group has yet said it carried out the attack.
Violence in Turkey has escalated recently as a result of tensions with Kurdish separatists and the conflict in neighbouring Syria

The explosion happened near the city’s historic Beyazit Square neighbourhood, a major tourist attraction.
At least 36 other people were injured, Istanbul’s governor said.
Pictures showed the wreckage of a bus destroyed and the facade of nearby buildings damaged. Armed police were also seen next to the site.

Reports said gunfire was heard in the area after the blast.

Both the so-called Islamic State (IS) and Kurdish militants have said they were behind recent attacks in Turkey.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said terror groups are targeting civilians because they are losing their struggle against Turkish security forces.

Turkey is part of the US-led coalition against IS and allows coalition planes to use its air base at Incirlik for raids on Iraq and Syria.

And a two-year-old ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurdish militant PKK broke down last summer.
Recent attacks in Turkey

March 2016: 35 people killed by Kurdish militants in Ankara; 4 dead in a suicide attack in Istanbul

February 2016: 28 killed in military convoy in Ankara

January 2016: 12 German tourists are killed in a suspected IS suicide bombing in Istanbul

October 2015: More than 100 people are killed in a double suicide bombing at a Kurdish peace rally in Ankara

Tears and destruction amid PKK crackdown

Source: BBC

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