bomb attack to a police bus Turkey, istanbul.jpg
Photograph: EPA/SEDAT SUNA

Eleven people, including seven members of the police force, were killed in a car bombing in Istanbul Tuesday, the local governor said.

Governor Vasip Sahin also reported 36 injured, including three in serious condition. The bomb was placed in a parked car and apparently remotely detonated as a police bus was passing.

The morning attack took place less than 1 kilometre from the Grand Bazaar, a popular tourist site in the Vezneciler area, near a public transport station.

Shops, cars and a hotel near the explosion point were damaged in the attack, local media reported, showing images. Windows of the 16th century Sehzade Mosque were blown out and some stone fixtures destroyed.

Hurriyet daily reported that exams at the Istanbul University campus in the vicinity were postponed. A heavy police force remained in the area.

Top members of cabinet were already in discussions related to the "terrorist attack," the prime minister's office said.

A Turkish court also imposed a partial ban on media publicizing information related to the bombing, the broadcasting authority (RTUK) reported.

Such bans, common after attacks in the country's main cities, normally prohibit broadcasting unofficial information, including that about ongoing investigations, and some images from the scenes of the attacks.

The bombing comes during the first days of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month.

Istanbul had already been hit by two major bombings this year, including in tourist areas. Both attacks were blamed on Islamic State.

The country is also facing unrest with the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the mostly-Kurdish south-east, leaving many hundreds dead, including militants, security forces and civilians. About half a million people have reportedly been displaced.

Kurdish militants from the shadowy Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) faction claimed two car bombing attacks in Ankara this year and a suicide bombing in Bursa.

Turkey's tourism industry has been tanking amid the threats, with the number of foreign visitors last month plummeting by 28 per cent, compared to the same period last year.

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