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Turkey Police Capture Suspected PKK Militant over Istanbul Attack | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A member of police special forces stands next to a fire truck near the blast site in Istanbul, Turkey. (Reuters/Huseyin Aldemir)

Turkish police have detained a suspected militant from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) who is believed to have carried out a “motorbike bomb” attack that wounded 10 people near an Istanbul police station, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Friday.

The woman suspect was captured along with two other people in Aksaray province in central Turkey, carrying a fake passport, Anadolu said.

The latest capture brings the total number of arrests up to six in connection with Thursday’s bombing in the Yenibosna district, several kilometers from Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, Turkey’s largest airport.

At least 10 people were wounded when a bomb which authorities said was attached to a motorbike exploded.

Television pictures released after the blast in the residential neighborhood showed damaged buildings, several cars wrecked and shards of glass scattering the ground, along with the mangled wreckage of a motorbike to which the bomb was attached.

No group has claimed the attack yet.

The PKK, listed as a terror group by Turkey and its Western allies, launched a separatist insurgency in 1984 in which more than 40,000 people have been killed. It has resumed deadly attacks since the collapse of a fragile truce in July 2015.

Thursday’s strike was the first bomb attack in Istanbul since the failed July 15 coup seeking to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Also Friday, Turkish authorities issued detention warrants for 166 people including police chiefs, Anadolu reported, launching a fresh operation linked to the attempted coup which Ankara blames on followers of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.

The investigation was initially focused on Istanbul police headquarters staff but spread across 35 provinces, targeting people who used a little-known smartphone messaging app known as ByLock, the agency said.

In the post-coup crackdown, some 32,000 people have been jailed pending trial and around 100,000 members of the security and civil services, university professors and others have been fired or suspended from work.