ANKARA: Seven people were wounded when an explosion hit a shuttle bus carrying prison guards in the Turkish coastal province of Izmir on Thursday, and authorities were investigating a possible terrorist attack, the local mayor said.
The bus was hit as it passed a garbage container at around 7:40 a.m. (0440 GMT), Levent Piristina, the mayor of Izmir’s Buca district, said on Twitter. Photographs he posted on social media showed its windows blown out and its windscreen shattered. The force of the blast appeared to have blown out some of the bus’s panels, and the nearby street was littered with debris.
No one immediately claimed responsibility. Both Kurdish militants and Islamic State militants have carried out suicide and bomb attacks in major Turkish cities in recent years. Kurdish militants have previously targeted buses carrying security personnel. In December, a bomb killed at least 13 soldiers and wounded more than 50 when it ripped through a bus carrying off-duty military personnel in the central city of Kayseri, an attack the government blamed on Kurdish militants.
The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), considered a terrorist organisation by the United States, Turkey, and the European Union, has waged a three-decade insurgency against the Turkish state. The outlawed PKK wants autonomy for Turkey’s largely Kurdish southeast.
A bomb placed in a garbage container exploded in Turkey’s Izmir province on the Aegean coast on Thursday, wounding several people on a shuttle bus, the private Dogan news agency said.