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Four bombs in Turk resort and Istanbul hurt 27

Emma Ross-Thomas / Reuters | August 28 2006

Four bombs at a popular Turkish coastal resort and in Istanbul wounded at least 27 people, including 10 British tourists, authorities said on Monday.

Ten Britons and six Turks were wounded when their minibus blew up on one of the main streets of Marmaris on the Mediterranean coast. The British Foreign Office said three Britons were in intensive care.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility.

A Marmaris police official, who declined to be named, told Reuters 21 people were injured in the busy tourist town, including 16 people inside the minibus.

Five others were hurt by two other bombs and all three explosions happened within 15 minutes.

"There were three bombs ... Two of them were not important, they were percussion bombs," he said. The outlawed separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) was suspected of carrying out the attacks, he added.

The bombs in Marmaris exploded between midnight and 0015 local time (1315 EDT) while the Istanbul blast, which injured six people, took place at 9:30 p.m. local time.

Istanbul police chief Celalettin Cerrah said six people had been injured when a device exploded near a school in the Bagcilar district of Turkey's largest city.

"They left a package on a road against the garden wall... At around 2130 (1430 EDT) it exploded and six citizens were injured," Cerrah told state-run Anatolian news agency.

Marmaris is a resort popular with west European and Russian tourists as well as Turks.

"I can confirm that there were three explosions (in Marmaris) but the (British) injuries all came from the first explosion," said a British embassy spokeswoman in Ankara.

Police explosives experts wearing white suits conducted investigations at the blast sites in Marmaris.

BURNS, LACERATIONS

Of the 21 casualties in Marmaris, nine have been discharged from hospital, the local governor told Anatolian.

"With the efforts of our security forces we will capture those behind the blasts as soon as possible and bring them to account," said Governor Temel Kocaklar.

The tourist industry is a powerful motor of the Turkish economy, hoping to attract $20 billion in revenue and 26 million visitors this year.

Kurdish separatists, leftists and Islamic militants have carried out bomb attacks in Turkey in the past.

The blasts came two days after two bombs exploded in the southern Turkish city of Adana, injuring four people.

The PKK, which launched a separatist campaign in 1984, and other militant groups have been blamed or claimed responsibility for similar blasts in the past.

Turkey, like the United States and European Union, considers the PKK a terrorist organization and blames it for the deaths of more than 30,000 people.

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