Kurdish splinter group claims Izmir attack
IZMIR - A splinter group of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) on Wednesday claimed responsibility for a car bomb and gun attack that left two people dead in the Turkish city of Izmir this month, a report said.
The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) said one of its "revenge teams" had carried out the attack in the usually peaceful Aegean city on January 5, in a statement carried by the pro-PKK Firat news agency.
The car bombing killed a traffic policeman and a court worker, triggering a deadly shootout in which two "terrorists" were killed.
Officials praised the dead policeman Fethi Sekin as a hero for preventing a far higher toll by stopping the car and then chasing down the attackers.
The attack came with Turkey on edge after a slew of attacks and came just four days after a New Year's Eve gun attack on an Istanbul nightclub claimed by Islamic State (IS) jihadists, which killed 39 revellers.
The PKK -- proscribed as a terror organisation by Ankara, the United States and the European Union -- has been waging an insurgency against Turkey since 1984.
The shadowy TAK organisation is seen by some analysts as more extreme than the PKK although the Turkish government says it is merely a front for the better-known group.
The TAK has claimed a string of bombings in Turkey over the last year, including the December 10 double bombing by the Besiktas football stadium that left 46 dead.