ADANA, Turkey: A fireman extinguish fire on cars after an explosion yesterday. —AFP ADANA, Turkey: A fireman extinguish fire on cars after an explosion yesterday. —AFP

ISTANBUL: A car bomb exploded in the car park of the governor's office in the southern Turkish city of Adana yesterday killing two people and wounding 33, officials said, in the latest attack to rock Turkey this year.

The explosion sparked a fire, with a cloud of dark smoke spewing into the sky, and caused damage to the governorate itself, state-run Anadolu news agency said, describing the blast as a "terror attack". The attack is believed to have been carried out by a woman, Adana governor Mahmut Demirtas was quoted as saying by Anadolu, without providing further details.

Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's son-in-law, said two people were killed and 33 wounded, including one in critical condition. Speaking to reporters after inspecting the site, Albayrak condemned the attack and said: "We have no fear from anything other than Allah."

As has been the case with previous attacks, Turkish authorities immediately slapped a broadcast ban on footage from the scene.

'Accursed terror'   

"This accursed terror continues to target our people," Turkey's EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik, a ruling party MP from Adana, wrote on Twitter. "We will fight against terror until the very end in the name of humanity," he added. Celik who later visited Adana claimed the atrocity targeted the governor himself.

With a population of almost two million, Adana is one of Turkey's largest cities, located around 100 kilometers from the Syrian border. The US consulate in the city had in September warned its citizens of a potential threat targeting US-branded hotels there. "We strongly condemn the outrageous terrorist attack in Adana," the US embassy in Ankara said on Twitter, adding that the United States stands "with Turkey against terror".

Incirlik air base, just outside Adana, is used by American and coalition forces as a hub for air raids against Islamic State (IS) jihadists in neighboring Syria. The attack came on the same day that three Turkish soldiers were killed and 10 wounded in an air strike in northern Syria that Turkey blamed on the Syrian regime.

Turkey has experienced a bloody year of militant attacks in its two biggest cities that have left dozens dead and put the country on high alert. Kurdish militants have twice struck in Ankara, while suspected IS suicide bombers have hit Istanbul on three occasions.

In June, 47 people were killed in a triple suicide bombing and gun attack at Istanbul's Ataturk airport, with authorities pointing the finger at IS. Another 57 people, 34 of them children, were killed in August in a suicide attack by an IS-linked bomber at a Kurdish wedding in the southeastern city of Gaziantep.

The country is also still reeling from a failed July 15 coup blamed on the US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen that has been followed by a relentless purge of his alleged supporters from all state institutions.

Battle against PKK

There was no immediate indication of who was behind the latest attack. The Turkish military has stepped up operations against Kurdish militants after a fragile ceasefire broke down in the summer of 2015. Since then, there has been a dramatic surge in violence that shows no sign of ending.

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), designated as a terror group by Turkey and its Western allies, generally concentrates its attacks in the southeast of the country. Although located in southern Turkey, Adana lies to the west of the southeastern region that has been the main theatre of conflict with the PKK.-AFP