Latest Turkey resort blast kills 3, others injured


August 28, 2006

ISTANBUL, Turkey (CNN) -- A blast at the Turkish resort town of Antalya has killed at least three people and injured 18 others, police said, the fifth explosion to hit the country in less than 24 hours.

Authorities told The Associated Press they were looking for two suspects, indicating but not saying outright that Monday's explosion was the result of a bomb.

The Antalya governor's office told CNN Turk the cause of the latest explosion -- near a building housing restaurants -- was still under investigation.

Late Sunday, blasts along Turkey's Mediterranean coast and in the commercial center of Istanbul left 27 people wounded, including 10 British tourists, officials said.

The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, a group linked to the main Kurdish guerrilla group, the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, claimed responsibility for Sunday's attacks.

On its Web site the group warned: "Turkey is not a safe country. Tourists should not come to Turkey," according to the AP. It was not immediately possible to verify the statement's authenticity.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the Antalya explosion.

Kurdish militants have often threatened to target the tourism industry in their fight for autonomy in the Turkish southeast.

Police sources told CNN Turk the earlier blasts were the result of bombs.

"With the efforts of our security forces we will capture those behind the blasts as soon as possible and bring them to account," Reuters reported Marmaris Governor Temel Kocaklar as saying.

Witnesses in Antalya told Reuters they heard a bang that broke windows, sent shrapnel flying into people and sparked a fire at a shopping area in the city, one of Turkey's most popular destinations.

"I saw two wounded tourists and a burned body of a dead man who was a pastry vendor," said journalist Riza Ozel on holiday.

Hospitals received 38 wounded people, according to Reuters. Russia's vice consul in Antalya, Sergey Koritsky, said the injured included a German, a Jordanian, two Iranians, four Israelis and a Russian.

"There was a fire and a lot of cars were damaged, a lot of motorbikes were damaged," he told the news agency, adding that the street was packed with restaurants and shops.

Sunday's blasts

The Antalya blast came less than 24 hours after three separate blasts in Marmaris injured 21 people within 15 minutes. Another explosion in Istanbul wounded six people earlier on Sunday evening.

Twenty-one people were wounded in three explosions in Marmaris, a popular coastal resort town in southwest Turkey.

Meanwhile, six people were wounded in Istanbul, three of them seriously, CNN Turk reported, citing local authorities and witnesses.

In London, the Foreign Office said 10 British citizens were hurt in the blasts, and four of them were in serious condition.

Doctors at Caria Hospital in Marmaris treated four Britons and one Turk after a bomb went off on a local minibus, said operations manager Sozanne Poraz.

None of those treated at her hospital had life-threatening injuries. Most suffered cuts and burns on their legs and had difficulty hearing, Poraz said. Two had to have shrapnel removed from their legs.

Most of those treated at her hospital were in shock and unable to provide much of a description of the blast, Poraz added.

One woman "said she was sitting in the back of the bus, heard a large bang and saw an explosion in front of her, but that's all she's been able to tell us," Poraz said.

Julie Midgmey, a spokeswoman for the Ahuhetman Hospital, said four Turks and six Britons were treated there.

Midgmey said "a couple" of people had to have shrapnel removed from their legs, but other wounds were spread across their bodies.

Hospital sources said nine of those who were admitted to hospitals in Marmaris were discharged -- both Britons and Turks.

CNN's Talia Kayali contributed to this report.