Kurdish fighters claim Ankara bomb attack

Separatist group claims responsibility for deadly bombing in Turkish capital on Tuesday, and warns of more attacks.

    Damaged vehicles are seen at the site of a blast in central Ankara claimed by the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks [Reuters]

    Kurdish separatist fighters have claimed responsibility for a bomb attack that killed three people in the Turkish capital, Ankara, on Tuesday.

    In a statement carried by the pro-Kurdish Firat news agency on Thursday, the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK) said it was behind the bombing, and also threatened more attacks on Turkish cities.

    TAK said Tuesday's blast, which left at least 15 people wounded, was the "beginning of a series of attacks".

    "Everywhere is a target," the statement said.

    The explosion occurred in the Kizilay district of downtown Ankara, and Bulent Arinc, the country's deputy prime minister, blamed it on a bomb planted on a vehicle.

    Main targets

    TAK also laid claim for a recent attack in Antalya, on the Mediterranean coast, where several tourists were wounded by a small explosion on a beach.

    "We, as TAK, claim responsibility for actions in Ankara and Antalya," the statement said. "Big Turkish cities will be our main targets."

    Last year, TAK claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on a military bus that killed five people, and a suicide bomb attack that wounded 32 people in Istanbul.

    Turkish officials say TAK is a front used by the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK. PKK separatist fighters launched a guerrilla campaign against the Turkish state in the 1980s, and more than 40,000 have died in the conflict.

    During the past month, Turkish warplanes have carried out more than 150 air strikes on Kurdish fighter targets in northern Iraq.

    The PKK is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and European Union.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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