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Kurdish militant group claims responsibility for Istanbul blast

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    Last update - 22:05 31/03/2006 Kurdish militant group claims responsibility for Istanbul blast http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/701154.html By The
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 31 3:25 PM
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      Last update - 22:05 31/03/2006

      Kurdish militant group claims responsibility for Istanbul blast
      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/701154.html
      By The Associated Press


      ISTANBUL, Turkey - A Kurdish militant group claimed responsibility for a bomb
      blast near a bus stop in Istanbul Friday that killed one person and injured 13
      others, saying the attack was in response to recent violence in southeastern
      Turkey.

      The bomb blast follows three days of some of the worst street violence in
      overwhelmingly Kurdish southeastern Turkey in a decade. Seven people were
      killed during the rioting, including a 3-year-old boy killed Friday. The
      fighting pitted Kurds against Turkish police and paramilitary police.

      Twenty-one Kurdish rebels have also been killed in fighting in the southeast
      during the past few days.

      "From now on, every attack against our people will be met immediately by even
      more violent acts," the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons said in an e-mail to
      journalists. "We will start to harm not just property but lives too. With our
      actions we will turn Turkey into hell. The bomb attack in Kocamustafapasa,
      carried out by our action team, was just a warning."

      The bomb went off in a garbage can in the Kocamustafapasa district of
      Istanbul. A police official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the bomb
      was believed to have contained plastic explosives. Turkish rules bar civil
      servants from speaking to journalists on the record without prior
      authorization.

      The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons is a hard-line group believed to be linked to
      the main Kurdish guerrilla group, the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK.

      The group has claimed responsibility for a number of bomb attacks in Turkey,
      including a blast in the Aegean resort town of Cesme last summer that wounded
      21 people.

      Istanbul Gov. Muammer Guler said the man killed in the Istanbul blast was a
      street vendor who sold sesame-coated pretzels. A child was among the injured,
      CNN-Turk television reported.

      Video footage broadcast on CNN-Turk showed debris scattered across a
      residential street in Istanbul, covering the sidewalk and parked cars.

      Ambulances with flashing lights moved down the street while police carrying
      submachine guns tried to keep crowds of people from the site.

      A bomb disposal expert wearing protective gear checked nearby garbage
      canisters.

      Earlier on Friday, bomb disposal teams destroyed a remote-controlled bomb
      containing C-4 plastic explosives in the Aegean port city of Izmir, NTV
      television reported.

      The bomb was hidden inside a flower pot left by the side of a road frequently
      used by police, NTV said. It was discovered by a woman who took the pot home.

      Kurdish rebels have carried out attacks using C-4 explosives in the past.
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