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Turkey: Explosion near courthouse in Izmir
January 5, 2017, 5:23 pm

Two people have been killed in an explosion near a courthouse in the city of Izmir, western Turkey, the country's state-run Anadolu news agency reports.

A police officer and a courthouse staff member both died in the attack, while others have been injured. Police have killed two assailants and are hunting a third, according to the news agency. Izmir, a busy port on the Aegean Sea, is Turkey's third-largest city, home to more than two million people.

High alert

Turkey is still reeling from the New Year's attack on an Istanbul nightclub which left 39 people dead. According to Anadolu, at least 69 others were hurt while the gunman remains at large.

Turkey IDs killer in nightclub attack

Police have detained 34 suspects, excluding those picked up in raids Thursday, the news agency reports. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted to Twitter, but CNN cannot independently verify it. The terror group boasted of carrying out the first major terrorist attack of 2017.

Growing threat

Earlier this week, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told lawmakers that Turkish security forces had prevented 339 major terror incidents in 2016 -- 80 of which came in the final three months of the year. In his speech to parliament, Soylu cited attacks launched by the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, as well as those by Daesh, the Arabic term for ISIS. Anadolu quoted Soylu as saying that "313 of the incidents were planned by PKK, 22 by Daesh and four by radical leftist groups."

He said that 247 improvised explosives and 61 bomb vehicles had been seized in 12 months. He also revealed the capture of 23 suicide bomber suspects as well as 42 terrorist group members who were preparing for attacks.

Source: CNN

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