Bomb explodes outside hospital in Turkey, 3 wounded

Sunday, October 1st 2006, 11:43 am
By: News On 6

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) _ A bomb exploded outside a hospital in the Mediterranean port city of Mersin on Sunday, wounding three people, police said.

The bomb had been placed near a bicycle outside the Mersin State Hospital's emergency department, shattering windows of nearby buildings and cars, the private Dogan news agency reported.

Police then evacuated people and cordoned off the area against the possibility of a second bomb, according to Dogan.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the explosion, which came on the first day of a new unilateral cease-fire declared by autonomy-seeking Kurdish rebels on Saturday.

The Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, declared the cease-fire starting Sunday, in ``the hopes of starting a democratic process for the solution of the Kurdish problem,'' following a surge of rebel violence that killed more than a dozen soldiers and policemen in recent weeks. Militants believed to be linked to the rebels also have bombed tourist resorts, killing three and injuring more than a dozen tourists.

Militant leftist and Islamic groups are also active in Turkey.

Suleyman Ekizer, the deputy police chief for Mersin, told the Anatolia news agency that witnesses saw a man with a bicycle leaving the bomb.

Three people who were wounded from shattered glass were treated at the emergency department. Television footage showed glass on the street as well as a wheel and twisted metal from the bike.

Ekizer said police were investigating the type of bomb used.

``The explosion, which occurred at a hospital that takes in the largest number of patients in the city, has once again shown the cruel face of terrorism,'' he said.