Multiple bombs set off in Turkish resort

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Monday, August 28, 2006

The Turkish resort of Marmaris was hit by at least 3 bombs and one bomb went off in Istanbul's Bagcilar district on Sunday injuring at least 27 people. The blasts come two days after four people were injured in a separate bombing in Adana.

"We heard one of the bombs and it sounded just like a gunshot. The bus had exploded outside a McDonald’s restaurant. We saw its remains: it had been ripped apart," said one witness, Danielle Pearson.

The second explosion happened 45 minutes later, in a residential district near the harbour.

"Ambulances and police cars were going everywhere. The streets were really busy with people running everywhere. Before the explosions people were being typical holidaymakers and just enjoying themselves," added Pearson. Of the injured, 10 are Britons, all of whom are in hospital, four of whom are in serious condition.

A fifth bombing has been reported in the European section of Istanbul. Six people are reported to have been injured, none seriously. The bomb was reportedly in a package left near a school.

Reports from southern Turkey at 17:16 say that yet another round of bombings have killed three people and injured a score of others.

There is no official word on who is responsible for the blasts, but responsibility has been claimed by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Other militant groups are warning tourists not to visit Turkey. "We had warned before, Turkey is not a safe country. Tourists should not come to Turkey" - website of the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (Tak)

Tourism is a mainstay of the Turkish economy, bringing millions of dollars of foreign money to the country. Deterring tourism constitutes a serious threat to jobs for thousands of Turks.

Bureaucrats from the British Foreign and Commonwealth office have not advised tourists to leave, but continue to follow events as they unfold - "Ten British nationals have been injured and are in hospital," quoted a spokeswoman for the British Foreign Office, "We have consular staff on the ground."

The Foreign Office has set up a telephone hotline for concerned relatives on 020 7008 0000.