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Turkey Detains 18 In Connection With Deadly Izmir Attack

Police forensic experts examine the scene after an explosion outside a courthouse in Izmir, Turkey, on January 5.

Turkey's justice minister says authorities have detained at least 18 people in connection with an attack in the Aegean coastal city of Izmir this week that left a police officer and a courthouse employee dead.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag made the statement at a January 6 funeral ceremony for the policeman killed in the gun and bomb attack a day earlier, which officials say was carried out by Kurdish militants.

"All the information we have obtained show it was the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) terrorist organization who gave instructions for the attack, and that the terrorists were from the PKK," Bozdag said.

No group has taken responsibility for the attack, in which the gunmen exchanged fire with police before detonating their vehicle at a police checkpoint near a courthouse. Several others were wounded in the incident.

The PKK -- which Turkey, the United States, and the EU have designated a terrorist organization -- has carried out several attacks against Turkish security forces in the past year and a half.

Islamic State militants have also staged numerous deadly attacks in the country.

Based on reporting by Reuters, Anadolu, AP, and AFP