AUGUST 28, 2006
Terrorists strike at tourism in Turkey
It will not be a coincidence that on Sunday night a series of bombs. aimed at the tourist trade, went off in various locations in Turkey. The Formula 1 Grand Prix in Turkey was hailed by the government as a way to boost Turkey's image abroad and attract more tourists. Security at the event was tight with soldiers posted around the perimetre of the track and on the approach roads and snipers at the track itself. The aim was to deter any terrorist action at the event itself but the attacks on Sunday night will, no doubt, have an effect.
The worst attack was at the Mediterranean resort city of Marmaris in the south-west of the country where 21 people were injured, including 10 Britons, when three bombs went off. The worst incident was a bomb in a minibus in the centre of the town. None of the injured have life-threatening injuries and the bombs were low-powered, the aim being to create publicity rather than to maximise the casualities.
In the western suburbs of Istanbul, away from the areas where most tourists hang out, another bomb went off in the Bagcilar district. It exploded at around nine thirty on Sunday night, injuring six Turkish citizens.
The attacks were probably carried out by Kurdish extremists, who have been running a long campaign in an effort to win themselves a homeland. Other attacks have been conducted by al-Qaeda including a blast in November 2003 which killed 32 people, including the British consul, and destroyed the British Consulate in the district of Pera, where many F1 people stay for the Grand Prix.
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