A bomb explosion wounded 10 people in and around a Turkish police bus near the ruling party headquarters in Istanbul, today according to Turkish authorities.
The blast hit close to the offices of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), said the private NTV news channel. Reports said that the explosion was believed to have been caused by a bomb.
Governor of Istanbul Huseyin Avni Mutlu said the bomb was composed of plastic explosives, according to Anatolia.
“The bomb was planted on a motorcycle waiting by the roadside, and went off around 0700 GMT as the police vehicle passed,” Mutlu added.
State media reported that a vehicle and a police bus were damaged in the explosion early on Thursday morning in the Sutluce district.
“It appears to be a remote-controlled bomb that went off as a duty vehicle with 21 policemen on board drove by,” said, Istanbul police chief Huseyin Capkin.
Witnesses in nearby vehicles reported a strong blast that rocked their cars, causing panic and some damage to the road itself.
The wounded policemen were hospitalized with minor injuries. Police blocked access to the blast zone, fearing a second explosion.
Several outlawed armed groups — Kurdish, Islamist and leftist extremist — have carried out bomb attacks in Istanbul in the past.
In May 2011, a bomb blast near a bus stop injured eight people in Etiler, an upscale district in Turkey’s largest city. And last September a powerful bomb rocked the centre of the capital Ankara, killing three people and wounding at least 15.
– With AFP Photo: Turkish forensic police search the site of an explosion in Istanbul (AFP, Mustafa Ozer)