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Wednesday, 3 January, 2001, 21:01 GMT
Suicide bomb blast in Turkey
Police and firefighters remove wreckage from the bomb scene
Police and firefighters remove wreckage from the bomb scene
Police in Turkey say two people have died and at least five others have been injured in a suicide bomb attack on a police building in the country's largest city, Istanbul.

The blast took place on the fifth floor of the regional police headquarters in the district of Sisli.

The bomber and a police officer are reported to have died and four more police officers are said to have been injured.

The blast caused severe damage to buildings and nearby cars.

Suspected prison link

Police have identified the bomber as 23-year-old Gultekin Koc and say he is a member of the outlawed left-wing Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).

Istanbul police chief Kazim Abanoz told reporters Mr Koc had wrapped his body with explosives and gained entry to the building by claiming to work there.

An injured inmate
30 inmates died in the prison strike
Turkey accuses the DHKP-C of being behind a recent hunger strike in prisons across the country.

Mr Abanoz said: "[This is] revenge. What else can a suicide bombing be?"

Thirty inmates and two soldiers died in December when security forces raided jails to end the hunger strikes, which were started in protest at the introduction of new, higher security prisons.

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See also:

22 Dec 00 | Europe
Troops end Turkey jail siege
23 Dec 00 | Media reports
Turkish press gets coup jitters
07 Dec 00 | Europe
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26 Jan 00 | Europe
Analysis: Can Turkey fit in?
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