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Injuries after homemade bomb explodes near Istanbul tram line

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the explosion.

Riot police secure the area after yesterday's explosion.
Riot police secure the area after yesterday's explosion.
Image: Cagdas Erdogan/AP/Press Association Images

Updated at 10.25am

AN EXPLOSION CAUSED by a homemade bomb rocked an Istanbul metro station on Tuesday, triggering panic in the evening rush hour and wounding up to half a dozen people.

The local mayor and the state-run Anatolia news agency confirmed a bomb caused the blast, which came at a time of growing jitters over security in Istanbuland the risk of a militant attack in Turkey’s largest city.

The blast, which was heard in several areas of the city, hit an overpass close to the metro station in the Bayrampasa district of Istanbul.

Local reports said the cause of the blast could have been linked to an electrical transformer and that six people had been injured.

Large numbers of ambulances were dispatched to the scene, as commuters were helped to safety, according to reports.

Anatolia said it was being investigated whether the bomb had been aimed at a police bus that was damaged in the attack.

‘Investigating all possibilities’ 

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the explosion.

“The cause of the explosion is not clear. We are investigating all possibilities,”Istanbul governor Vasip Sahin was quoted as saying by Anatolia.

Turkey is on alert for attacks after 103 people were killed on 10 October when two suicide bombers ripped through a crowd of peace activists in the capital Ankara, the worst attack in modern Turkey’s history.

Turkish police have in recent weeks detained several suspected members of the Islamic State (IS) group with officials saying they were planning attacks in Istanbul.

The country is also waging an all-out assault on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), who have staged dozens of deadly attacks against members of the security forces but largely in the southeast of the country.

Meanwhile, the banned ultra-left wing group the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party–Front has staged a string of usually small-scale attacks in Istanbul over the last months.

There have been repeated security alerts on Istanbul’s expanding metro system in the last months but until now all had proved to be false alarms.

First published 1 December

© – AFP, 2015

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