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Explosion near subway station in Istanbul injures at least five

Explosion near subway station in Istanbul injures at least five

ISTANBUL: Five people were injured when a pipe bomb exploded on an overpass near an Istanbul metro station on Tuesday, the district mayor said, halting some train operations and heightening security fears in Europe's biggest city.

Turkey has been on high alert since more than 100 people were killed by two suicide bombers in the capital Ankara in October, three months after a similar attack at a town near the Syrian border in July left 33 dead.

Read: Bomb attack leaves 30 dead, 100 injured in Turkey

Tuesday's blast near the Bayrampasa metro station came at the height of the evening rush hour, district Mayor Atilla Aydiner told A Haber television.

Bayrampasa is a residential and industrial area on the European side of Istanbul.

Another broadcaster earlier reported that one person had been killed but Aydiner confirmed only five injuries.

Grainy CCTV footage showed a large flash of light on the overpass followed by what appeared to be burning embers showering to the ground as cars drove below.

Photographs on social media showed what appeared to be dozens of people walking alongside overground train tracks after trains had been halted.

Although Istanbul's metro is largely underground, it runs above ground in some places, including around Bayrampasa.

Tuesday's blast was much smaller than the ones in Ankara and the town of Suruc near the Syrian border, which are believed to have been carried out by Islamic State (IS) militants.

Turkey, a Nato member, has carried out air strikes against the insurgents in neighbouring Syria as part of the US-led coalition fighting IS.

Read more: Turkish jets join US-led coalition in airstrikes against IS

It also faces security threats from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), whose militants often attack police and security in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast, and the far-left Revolutionary People's Liberation Army-Front (DHKP-C).

The DHKP-C, which is considered a terrorist organisation by the United States and Ankara, said that one of its members was involved in an attack on the US consulate in August.

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