Masked group attacks İstanbul public bus with Molotov cocktail

Masked group attacks İstanbul public bus with Molotov cocktail

(Photo: Cihan)

May 21, 2012, Monday/ 12:25:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

A group of masked assailants threw a molotov cocktail onto a public bus along the Taksim-Osmanbey route when the bus stopped at a red light near the Okmeydanı Şark Kahvesi, setting the bus on fire, in İstanbul’s Şişli district on Sunday.

The driver and passengers immediately evacuated the bus as the fire broke out. The driver used the bus's fire extinguisher to put out the fire. The Molotov cocktail caused substantial damage to the interior of the bus, which remains out of service.

The assailants, who also threw stones and sticks at the bus, immediately fled the scene of the incident.

Teams from the İstanbul Police Department's counterterrorism unit inspected the scene and launched an extensive investigation in the area to capture the assailants who are believed to be members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Attacks involving Motolov cocktails on public buses have occurred frequently in the past, with one thrown onto a bus in İstanbul's Maltepe district a couple of months ago. A similar incident occurred early in May in Diyarbakır when a masked group threw Molotov cocktails at a bus carrying personnel from Dicle University.

The worst Molotov cocktail attack to date occurred in İzmir in late 2009, when an attack on a municipal bus inflicted critical burns on 17-year-old Serap Eser, who later succumbed to her injuries. 

The attacks are believed to be linked to separatist terror organizations.

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