Newspaper article International New York Times

Car Bomb Targeting Police Kills 11 in Istanbul

Newspaper article International New York Times

Car Bomb Targeting Police Kills 11 in Istanbul

Article excerpt

Explosives in a parked car were detonated by remote control as a police shuttle bus passed through the historic Beyazit area at rush hour.

A car bomb destroyed a police vehicle near a central tourist district in Istanbul on Tuesday, instantly killing 11 people and wounding dozens more, Turkish officials said, the latest in a series of deadly attacks in the country.

Explosives in a parked car were detonated by remote control as a police shuttle bus passed through the historic Beyazit district during rush hour, Governor Vasip Sahin of Istanbul said in a televised statement.

Seven of the dead were police officers, Mr. Sahin said. Although there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, militants from two groups Turkey is currently combating -- the Islamic State and the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or P.K.K. -- have staged major suicide attacks in urban areas this year.

Militants from the P.K.K., which has carried out an insurgency against the Turkish state for more than three decades, have claimed responsibility for similar attacks against Turkish security forces since the breakdown of a fragile peace process last July.

A militant group with links to the Kurdish organization claimed responsibility for two major attacks this year in the capital, Ankara, that struck a military convoy and civilians, killing dozens.

Violence has surged in the country's predominately Kurdish southeast in recent months, after Turkey undertook a major military operation to eradicate militants from their strongholds in the region.

The Turkish authorities have imposed round-the-clock curfews across several southeastern cities and pounded Kurdish militant targets with tanks and artillery, and they claim to have killed almost 5,000 militants. In the process, they have reduced many Kurdish cities to rubble.

Critics of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan say he deliberately short-circuited the peace process with the Kurds last year to whip up nationalist sentiments after his governing Justice and Development party fared poorly in a first round of Parliamentary elections. …

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