19 April 2019
Forensic officers work on the blast scene in Istanbul on Tuesday. Photo: Reuters
Forensic officers work on the blast scene in Istanbul on Tuesday. Photo: Reuters

Five hurt as pipe bomb explodes near Istanbul metro station

Five people were injured when a pipe bomb exploded on an overpass near an Istanbul metro station on Tuesday, halting some train operations and heightening security fears in Europe’s biggest city.

Turkey has been on high alert since more than 100 people were killed by two suicide bombers in the capital Ankara in October, three months after a similar attack at a town near the Syrian border in July left 33 dead.

Tuesday’s blast near the Bayrampasa metro station came at the height of the evening rush hour, Reuters reported, citing district mayor Atilla Aydiner.

Bayrampasa is a residential and industrial area on the European side of Istanbul.

Although Istanbul’s metro is largely underground, it runs above ground in some places, including around Bayrampasa.

Tuesday’s blast was much smaller than the ones in Ankara and the town of Suruc near the Syrian border, which are believed to have been carried out by Islamic State militants.

Turkey, a NATO member, has carried out air strikes against the Islamist insurgents in neighboring Syria as part of the US-led coalition fighting the jihadist movement.

It also faces security threats from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), whose militants often attack police and security in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast, and the far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Army-Front (DHKP-C).

The DHKP-C, which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and Ankara, said one of its members was involved in an attack on the US consulate in August.

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