A roadside bomb blast in Istanbul, apparently targeting a military bus with soldiers and their families, has left at least four people dead and a dozen others injured.
Suspected Kurdish rebels detonated a remote-controlled bomb in Istanbul
A Turkish official said on Tuesday that suspected rebels from the Kurdistan Worker's Party, PKK, detonated a remote-controlled bomb on the European side of Istanbul, killing three soldiers and the 17-year-old daughter of an officer. According to initial reports, 12 others were injured.
Istanbul's provincial governor, Huseyin Avni Mutlu, said two of the wounded were in critical condition following the early morning blast in the city's Halkali district where military housing is located.
"This is a terrorist attack, and the aim of the attack is clear: to create divisions, tensions and despair," Mutlu told reporters.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but the PKK over the weekend had threatened reprisals on Turkish cities following a series of raids by the military against Kurdish rebel positions in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq.
Attacks undermine reconciliation efforts
The raids by the military, which included air strikes against PKK hideouts across the border in northern Iraq, were a response to attacks conducted by the PKK against Turkish troops deployed near the Iraqi border, which left 12 soldiers dead on Saturday.
On Monday, Turkey began a major deployment of forces along the border with Iraq as fighting with the rebels intensified. NATO and the European Union have condemned the attacks by the PKK, which both consider a terrorist organization.
The tit-for-tat escalation is an indication of just how quickly things can change. Barely three weeks ago, the Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani was on a landmark visit to Ankara to open a new chapter in bilateral Kurdish-Turkish relations.
Author: Gregg Benzow (dpa/AP/Reuters)
Editor: Rob Turner