Terrorist blast targets police bus in Turkey

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A bomb exploded in Turkey’s largest city yesterday, injuring 10 people and wrecking a police bus and nearby vehicles.

The remote-controlled device, mounted on a motorbike, injured at least five policemen and damaged the bus and two other vehicles in Istanbul.

The blast took place in an area close to the office of prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, where a policeman was killed in a bomb attack last year.

Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu said: “It appears that it went off as a police vehicle with 21 officers inside passed by.”

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

There was no claim of responsibility. Kurdish rebels as well as leftist and radical Islamic militants are active in Istanbul.

The blast came amid escalating calls by Turkish Kurds for autonomy as well as threats from the Kurdish rebel group that Turkey faces more violence if it does not halt a crackdown on rebels.