Briton killed in holiday resort attack

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The Independent Online

A Briton and an Irish woman student were killed yesterday when a bomb ripped apart a tourist minibus in a Turkish seaside resort. Two Turkish nationals, and two others, also died, and five British holidaymakers were among the 13 injured, three seriously.

The blast, which was the second bomb attack on a Turkish holiday resort within a week, occurred as the bus, which shuttles tourists between hotels and the beach, was passing through the town's square.

Within a short while, Turkish television was showing the crushed shell of the minibus, its roof stripped off and cab shattered, on one of the palm-lined boulevards. Twisted clumps of metal were strewn across the road and tourists in blood-stained beach-clothes were shown being carried away from the wreckage by local civilians. Among them was the British woman who later died. Her age and identity are not yet known.

Officials in the Aegean resort of Kusadasi, 45 miles south-east of the port of Izmir, said they could not rule out a suicide bombing, possibly by a young female passenger. Kusadasi's deputy governor, Ali Baris, told the semi-official Anatolian news agency: "Among the possibilities is that a 16- or 17-year-old girl did a suicide bombing, but it's still not certain." Another official, however, said the bombing was caused by a package planted on the minibus, possibly under the woman's seat.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks. Kurdish rebels have recently carried out bombings in Aegean resort towns targeting the lucrative tourism industry, but leftist and Islamic militants are also active in the country.

* The Foreign Office has issued an emergency number for Britons concerned about relatives: 020 7008 0000.

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