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Reports: Kurdish Rebels Claim Responsibility for Turkey Attack


Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) speaks with a wounded police officer at a hospital in Ankara on May 6, 2011

Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) speaks with a wounded police officer at a hospital in Ankara on May 6, 2011

Local media report the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, released a statement saying its guerrillas carried out the attack. Pro-Kurdish news agency Firat quotes the statement as saying the attack was in retaliation for what it called "police terror." Turkish officials had already blamed the attack on the PKK, which has waged a bloody 26-year campaign for Kurdish self-rule in southeastern Turkey.

In the wake of increasing violence between Turkish forces and Kurdish rebels, Kurdish separatists met in Diyarbakir Thursday to urge Turkey to stop military operations against the PKK. They also issued another warning of a Kurdish boycott of the June 12 parliamentary elections.

Last week, the army killed seven Kurdish militants in clashes in southeastern Turkey during a large military operation in the area.

The Kurds threatened last month to boycott the parliamentary elections after Turkey's main election board announced plans to ban seven Kurdish candidates from running. That decision was later reversed.

The PKK began its fight against Turkey's military for an ethnic homeland in 1984. An estimated 40,000 people have died in the armed campaign.

Turkey, the United States and the European Union consider the PKK a terrorist group.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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