Turkish officials are blaming Kurdish militants for a car bomb and gun attack on a courthouse in the city of Izmir on Thursday. A police officer and a court worker were killed, while five others were wounded in the attack.
Two of the attackers were killed during a gun battle with police. CNN delivers a confusing quote from Izmir governor Erol Ayyildiz on whether a third attacker remains on the loose: “There might be or there might not be but because of the possibility we are looking for him, and if there is one, he will be caught.”
The BBC finds a little solace in the apparent thwarting of an “even larger attack, based on the number of weapons found.” The police seized two Kalashnikov rifles and eight hand grenades at the scene.
The attackers opened fire after they were stopped at a security checkpoint near the courthouse. The assailants blew up one of their vehicles during their effort to escape; a second car was destroyed in a “controlled detonation” by the police.
The state-run Andalou news agency reports that two suspects have been detained in connection with the attack. Live broadcasting from the scene was quickly banned by the Radio and Television Supreme Council, as is always the case after terrorist attacks in Turkey.
Although Turkish officials were swift to blame the Kurdish militants of the PKK for the attack, Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak told reporters that ISIS could also have been responsible.
The BBC notes that some of the 36 people who have been detained during the investigation of the Reina nightclub massacre in Istanbul on New Year’s Eve are from Izmir, which is the third-largest city in Turkey. Most of the Izmir residents swept up by the investigation have been ethnic Uighurs from China.