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Bomb kills seven, Turkey blames Kurdish rebels

An explosion in Turkey has killed six soldiers and a civilian. Authorities have blamed the attack on Kurdish rebels. The bomb was detonated a convoy passed through the southeastern town of Tunceli.

A vehicle burns after an explosion in the center of Tunceli (Photo: STR/AFP/GettyImages)

Explosion in Tunceli Türkei

Security forces, who said they held militant Kurdish fighters responsible for the blast, claimed the explosives had been inside a car that was detonated as the soldiers passed through the center of town.

The deceased civilian was reported to be a woman whose husband was in a critical condition in hospital. The bomb was said to have been detonated remotely as an armored vehicle went by.

Private television network NTV said the blast had caused panic among local residents.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the blast, although fighters for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have stepped up their attacks on the Turkish military in recent weeks - with several deadly attacks. It is classified as a terrorist group by the European Union.

The Turkish air force meanwhile has maintained attacks against the PKK across the border in Iraq, where the fighters are believed to have retreated.

During the month of September alone, at least 18 police and soldiers were killed in apparent attacks by militants. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week that that security forces had killed or taken prisoner some 500 Kurdish rebels in less than a month.

The group has been fighting for an independent Kurdish state in the region since 1984 in a conflict that has claimed some 40,000 lives.

rc/ccp (AFP, dpa, Reuters)