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32 injured in apparent suicide bombing in Turkey

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Suicide bomb injurs 32
  • NEW: The United States condemns the attack
  • 32 wounded, 5 police officers in serious condition
  • Analysts say the Kurdistan Workers' Party could be responsible
  • A party spokesman says he did not know about the blast

Istanbul, Turkey (CNN) -- At least 32 people were wounded, five seriously, in an apparent suicide bombing in the center of Istanbul on Sunday, police said.

Those injured in the attack in Taksim Square included 15 police officers and 17 civilians, said Istanbul Gov. Huseyin Azni Mutlu. The five people in serious condition were all police officers, he said.

The male bomber died at the scene, Mutlu todl reporters. A second device was found on the bomber's body that either failed to detonate or was not used, he said.

The bomber was trying to get into a police car when he set off the explosion. Security cameras caught the event, and officials were looking over the video for more information, Mutlu said.

He condemned the attack as a "crime against humanity." He would not name the bomber or discuss a motive, and said it was too early to provide information on possible ties to organizations while the investigation was under way.

Earlier, Istanbul Police Chief Huseyin Capkin said the suspected bomber tried to board a police bus parked in the square, but the blast occurred before he did.

Taksim Square houses a commercial district and a major transportation network that includes buses, metro systems and taxis. Visitors throng the area, which is typically patrolled by numerous officers.

The suicide bomber struck when the city was marking National Day, which celebrates the declaration of independence for the Turkish republic. The parade was originally scheduled for Friday, but bad weather forced a postponement.

Analysts familiar with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, known as the PKK, told CNN Turk that it is likely PKK was behind the attack.

But a party spokesman told CNN that he did not know anything about the explosion.

"This blast in Taksim or explosion, I have no idea about it," PKK spokesman Roj Qandil said.

Qandil said the PKK's "unilateral cease-fire" was scheduled to end Sunday, but he said party leader Murat Karayilan told a Turkish journalist several days ago that "we are not going to do any actions against civilians anymore."

The United States condemned the attack and pledged to keep working with Turkey to "combat violent extremism," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement.

"This is a shocking crime and the people of the United States stand in solidarity with our friends, the people of Turkey," she said.

CNN's Yesim Comert, Talia Kayali and Ivan Watson contributed to this report.