An explosion has been reported outside a courthouse in Izmir, Turkey. The attack is said to have targeted a police checkpoint outside the buildings at 4:10PM local time and armed clashes have being heard from the location. Police later confirmed two attackers shot dead, with another still at large.

Flames were seen coming from cars suggesting the possibility of a vehicle bomb or IED used before the shooting although the specifics of the attack have not yet been confirmed by officials.

In statement following the attack, Izmir governor Erol Ayyildiz later stated that the PKK group was most likely responsible, with two killed and seven wounded by the assailants.

Sources near the site say the attack took place in the parking lot assigned to judges and prosecutors.

Government regulator RTUK imposed a media coverage ban approximately 35 minutes following the blast although internet access was not restricted. Turkish Twitter users shared videos of the attack and photographs of the slain attackers and heated debate continued to rage amongst nationalists and other groups.

Turkey is in a state of heightened security following a series of deadly attacks, most recently a mass-shooting at Istanbul’s upmarket Reina nightclub on New Years Eve. The country faces ongoing threats from so-called Islamic State and its affiliates as well as Kurdish militant splinter group TAK.

The attacks took place outside Izmir’s main courthouse in the Bayrakli district

The coastal city of Izmir had remained relatively unscathed through an ongoing spate of attacks focused on Istanbul, Izmir and the country’s southeast, targeting military, police and civilians including revellers and tourists.