Four Injured in Blast at Turkish US Association in Adana

ANKARA (Reuters)–A bomb exploded at a building housing a Turkish-US association in the southern Turkish city of Adana on Monday–injuring at least four people.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast. Adana is home to a sprawling airbase used by the US military to supply its forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"The explosion was in the hall on the ground floor at the entrance. Four people have been injured–but none of them seriously," said the head of the Turkish-US association in Adana–Cevdet Gulap.

The state Anatolian news agency quoted Cahit Kirac–governor of Adana province–as saying five people–four of them English language students–had been hurt in the explosion.

"None of the injured are in any danger," Kirac said–adding that three of them were women.

"Immediately after the blast–efforts were made to catch a person who hurriedly left the scene and an investigation has begun into the kind of bomb involved," Kirac said.

Turkish television showed several people being helped into an ambulance at the site. The building is in a central district of Adana–a city of 1.5 million people near the Mediterranean.

Several Turkish cities have a Turkish-US association–usually dedicated to promoting commercial–cultural–and educational ties. The United States–a NATO ally of Turkey–also has a consulate in Adana.

A variety of militant groups have carried out bomb attacks in Turkey in the past–including Kurdish separatists–Islamists–far leftists–and right-wing extremists.

Diplomatic ties between Washington and Ankara–traditionally warm–have improved steadily since hitting a low point in March 2003 when Turkey’s parliament rejected a US request to allow its troops to invade northern Iraq from Turkish territory.

But Turkish public opinion remains strongly critical of US foreign policy–especially in neighboring Iraq. Films and books with an anti-US message have found a receptive audience among Turks over the past few years.

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