An explosion occurred near a courthouse in Izmir, Turkey on Thursday which left two people killed. The two victims were a staff member at the courthouse and a police officer. The Anadolu news agency in Turkey also reported that five people were injured from the explosion as well.
Izmir Governor Erol Ayyildiz released a statement saying that police officers shot and killed two assailants who are believed to be responsible for the explosion. Authorities say the assailants were connected to the militant group known as the Kurdistan Worker’s party, also called the PKK.
The incident all started when a suspicious vehicle drove up in front of the courthouse and was stopped at a checkpoint by police officers. This was apparently the time when the assailants started to attack the security forces because they would not let them through. Ayyildiz told reporters that the assailants detonated a car bomb while they were trying to escape from the vehicle. He also said that the assailants had grenades and Kalashnikov rifles in their possession.
The police officer who died was 43-year-old Fethi Sekin. He spent nine years working as an officer of the Izmir courthouse. He is the one who stopped the attackers from driving their vehicle through the checkpoint, according to the state-run news agency. Sekin reportedly drew his gun, which caused the attackers to escape their vehicle and shoot at Sekin. The officer did kill one of the assailants, but then another one killed him.
Turkey has experienced a lot of tragedy over the last year. Numerous suicide attacks have already been perpetrated in the country by ISIS. Now, there seems to be a growing clash between the outlaw PKK militant group and the Turkish government forces. This has caused the PKK militants to start making attacks of their own in Turkey. Just recently, the Russian ambassador to Turkey was gunned down. And over the Christmas holiday, a gunman shot up people at a popular Istanbul nightclub.