August 29, 2006

Turkish police hunt two over bomb: paper

By Thomas Grove

ANTALYA, Turkey (Reuters) - Turkish police have launched a
hunt for two suspected bombers after a blast killed three
people and wounded dozens in the coastal city Antalya, Milliyet
newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Monday was the second consecutive day of attacks on Turkish
resorts in an apparent bid to undermine the tourism sector, a
key source of foreign currency.

The shadowy Kurdistan Liberation Hawks (TAK), a group
linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), said it
carried out bombings on Sunday in Istanbul and the coastal
resort of Marmaris which wounded 27 people.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the
attack in Antalya, the country's Mediterranean tourism hub. But
TAK repeated a warning on its Web site against tourists
visiting Turkey.

"We have warned the public of Turkey and the international
public before, Turkey is not a safe country, tourists shouldn't
come," it said.

Milliyet said police had descriptions of two people
suspected of planting the bomb in Antalya. Police declined to

Two of the dead in Antalya were retired policemen, Milliyet
said, and 87 people were injured. Traders in the area of the
bombing hung Turkish flags from their shops while bars in the
city center canceled entertainment.

There were no immediate reports of tourist cancellations.
Tourism is worth an annual $18 billion to the country and has
already been hit this year by other militant attacks and a bird
flu outbreak.

Security was stepped up in resort areas and tourists in
Antalya said they were on the alert.

"I'm not comfortable with the idea that this kind of thing
happens and I will definitely try to avoid things and I will be
a lot more alert," said Can Set, 24, a lawyer from Amsterdam.

The blast outside a building in the center of Antalya broke
windows, sent shrapnel flying into people and sparked a fire at
a shopping area in the heart of the city.

It came less than 24 hours after three bombs in Marmaris
wounded 21 people, including 10 Britons, and a device in
Istanbul wounded six.

Officials say they suspect the PKK is behind the blasts.
More than 30,000 people have been killed in conflict since it
took up arms in 1984 with the aim of creating a homeland in
Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast.

The United States, the EU and Turkey consider it a
terrorist organization.