Turkish suicide bomber injures policemen

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The Independent Online

A suicide bomber walked into a police station and detonated explosives strapped to his body, killing himself and injuring at least four officers and one civilian in Istanbul.

A suicide bomber walked into a police station and detonated explosives strapped to his body, killing himself and injuring at least four officers and one civilian in Istanbul.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but suspicion fell on leftist militants who have vowed to avenge the killings of fellow militants during prison raids last month.

The explosion damaged the fourth and fifth floors of the police station in downtown Istanbul, NTV television reported.

It said the suicide bomber blew himself up just outside the office of a high-ranking official.

A police officer confirmed the attack and injuries but gave no details.

Riot police blocked traffic near the police station and ambulances were seen rushing from the nine-story station.

It was not clear how the bomber sneaked into the police station.

The assault follows a New Year's Eve blast that injured 10 people in downtown Istanbul.

Soldiers stormed 20 prisons across Turkey last month to end a hunger strike by militant leftists.

Thirty-two militants were killed either in the fighting or by setting themselves ablaze. The militants had vowed to die rather than surrender.

Most of the militants were loyal to the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front, a radical Marxist group that has carried out violent attacks in the past. The group has vowed to avenge the deaths of the militants.

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