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Sun Oct 26 10:32:42 SAST 2014

Roadside bomb in Turkey kills 6

REUTERS | 18 October, 2011 17:09
Flames are seen in a street after a blast in central Ankara
Flames are seen in a street after a blast in central Ankara in this September 20, 2011 file photo. A roadside bomb killed six in the southeast part of the country on Tuesday.
Image by: STR / REUTERS

A roadside bomb planted by suspected Kurdish rebels exploded in southeastern Turkey on Tuesday, killing four policemen and two civilians including a child, security officials said.

The bomb, placed on a road in the Guroymak district of Turkey's Bitlis province, struck a police vehicle as it returned from a shooting range, officials said.

Four policemen inside the vehicle were killed, while two civilian bystanders, including a two-year-old girl, also died in the blast, they said. One woman and two police officers were heavily wounded.

Kurdish separatists have carried out a string of attacks in southeastern Turkey in recent months, killing more than 50 Turkish personnel since July. Bitlis is located in the mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey.

The Turkish military has launched retaliatory air raids on Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq, its first strikes in the region in more than a year.

Both the central government in Baghdad and regional Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq have condemned the Turkish raids as a violation of Iraq's sovereignty.

The rebels took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984 and more than 40,000 people have died in the conflict. They have bases in northern Iraq from which they cross the border to attack Turkish targets.

The militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. Monday's raid was the deadliest attack by suspected PKK rebels in weeks.

Last month, five people were killed and at least 13 wounded when a car bomb exploded in a busy street in the Turkish capital Ankara.

The Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), a group connected to the PKK, claimed responsibility for that attack and threatened more raids in Turkish cities.

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