Death toll rises in Turkey car bombing

2012-08-21 14:28


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Ankara - At least nine people, including four children, have died from a car bomb in a southeastern Turkish city of Gaziantap, Turkey's deputy prime minister said on Tuesday, raising the earlier toll.

"The toll from this terrorist attack is now nine dead, including four children," said Besir Atalay.

The toll rose from eight after a 12-year-old girl died from her injuries, he said.

The latest number of injured from the blast was also higher at 69, with four people in critical condition, while most of the others suffered slight injuries caused by shattered glass, the minister added.

Atalay accused rebels of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) of being behind the powerful blast that went off close to a police station and set fire to several vehicles including a city bus carrying some of the victims.

But the PKK denied carrying out the attack in a statement published by the pro-Kurd Firatnews agency.

No claim of responsibility

"Our forces have nothing to do with this attack. We do not attack civilians," the party said.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack which came on the second day of the Muslim feast of Aid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

Atalay said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan would travel to Gaziantep on Wednesday.

No one has been arrested yet over the attack, he added.

Gaziantap, a main city in the region, has so far been spared the violence wrought by PKK rebels since they began their battle for autonomy in the Kurdish-majority south-east in 1984.

The conflict with the PKK, which is considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey and much of the international community, has claimed around 45 000 lives over nearly three decades.

Read more on:    recep tayyip erdogan  |  turkey

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