Turkish police have captured a Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant whom they suspect carried out a “motorbike bomb” attack on Thursday that wounded 10 people near an Istanbul police station, the state-run Anadolu Agency said on Friday. It said a total of six people had been detained in connection with the attack in the Yenibosna neighbourhood, several kilometres from Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, Turkey’s largest airport.
The suspected perpetrator was captured with a fake identity card in the central province of Aksaray, travelling in a car with two other people, Anadolu said. Television footage released after the explosion on Thursday showed damaged vehicles, shattered glass and broken windows in the residential area, along with the mangled wreckage of a motorbike to which the bomb was attached.
There were no immediate claims of responsibility. The PKK launched a separatist insurgency in 1984 in which more than 40,000 people have been killed. The conflict flared up again in July last year after the collapse of a two-year-old ceasefire.
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The PKK is designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. Leftist and Islamist groups have also carried out bomb attacks across Turkey in the past, with Islamic State blamed for some recent attacks.
The last blast in Istanbul was in June, a month before an attempted coup to overthrow President Tayyip Erdogan’s government, when 45 people were killed in a triple suicide bombing at the airport. That attack was blamed on Islamic State.