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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 August 2006, 01:35 GMT 02:35 UK
Fresh blast hits Turkish resorts
A smoke-covered street in Antalya following the explosion on 28 August 2006
The cause of the blast is being investigated by police
Three people have been killed and at least 20 others have been injured in a blast at a resort in southern Turkey.

The explosion happened close to shops and restaurants in the heart of the popular Mediterranean city of Antalya.

The blast came hours after three bombs hit another coastal resort, Marmaris, injuring at least 21 people. Another blast in Istanbul wounded six people.

Meanwhile, Turkish police arrested a man they said was plotting a further bomb attack in the city of Izmir.

The Turkish state news agency said the man was from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) separatist group.

It said other people were also detained for helping the suspect and that plastic explosives were seized in the operation.

Nervous atmosphere

The cause of Monday's blast in Antalya is not yet known, but the authorities were said to be looking for two suspects.

Meanwhile, a Kurdish militant group with links to the banned PKK has claimed responsibility for Sunday's blasts in Marmaris and Istanbul.

"We had warned before, Turkey is not a safe country. Tourists should not come to Turkey," the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (Tak) said on its website.

The Turkish economy is heavily reliant on tourism, which Kurdish separatists have repeatedly threatened to target.

ATTACKS IN TURKEY
map
27 August: 21 injured in three blasts in Marmaris
27 August: Six wounded in blast in Istanbul
25 June: 4 killed, 25 injured in southern resort of Antalya
16 April: 31 injured in Bakirkoy district of Istanbul
31 March: 1 killed, 13 injured in Istanbul's Kocamustafapasa district
9 February: 1 killed, 16 injured at internet cafe in Istanbul's Bayrampasa district
18 November: One killed and 11 injured in the Beylikduzu district of Istanbul

The explosion happened in a busy shopping area in Antalya in the late afternoon.

Police spokesman Akif Aktug said the blast occurred between two mopeds parked in front of a municipal building, according to Turkish news agency Anatolia.

The force of the blast ripped off the building's facade, badly damaged nearby shops and restaurants and sparked a fire.

Glass and shrapnel was sent flying into nearby passers-by.

Mr Aktug said 20 people had been wounded, adding that this number did not include those who had suffered light injuries.

Two Russians, four Israelis and a Jordanian were said to be among the injured, although one government official said they were not among those receiving hospital treatment.

One French tourist told the AFP news agency that the wounded were being treated on the spot. Some were bleeding heavily with wounds to the face.

The area around the scene was cordoned off as the police investigation got under way.

Whatever the cause of the blast, this latest incident has only added to an already nervous atmosphere, the BBC's Sarah Rainsford says.

Wave of bombings

Most of those injured in Marmaris - including 10 Britons - were on a minibus ferrying local people and holidaymakers along the main street.

Istanbul was also hit by a bomb attack on Sunday night, when a roadside device exploded injuring six Turkish nationals.

Both Marmaris and Antalya are popular with European and Russian holidaymakers.

The attacks are the latest in a wave of similar bombings in Turkey in recent years, blamed on either Kurdish separatists, Islamic militants or left-wing extremists.

Four people - including three foreigners - were killed in an explosion in Antalya in June. Initial investigations suggest a gas canister exploded, but doubt was cast over whether it had been an accident.


SEE ALSO
Timeline: Bomb blasts in Turkey
28 Aug 06 |  Europe
Country profile: Turkey
26 Jul 06 |  Country profiles

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