News / Europe

Suicide Bomber Strikes Turkey's Southeast

Turkish officials are blaming a female suicide bomber for a blast in the country's mainly Kurdish southeast.

VOA's Kurdish service reports the explosion killed three people and wounded 20 others.

Governor Mustafa Hakan Guvencer said the woman blew herself up near the headquarters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), in the town of Bingol on Saturday.  But Turkish Interior Minister Idris Sahin said it was not clear the AKP office was the target.

Officials say, so far, there have been no claims of responsibility.

Turkey this week concluded an air and ground offensive against Kurdish militants in Turkey and in northern Iraq.  The offensive was conducted after a series of coordinated attacks by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) killed 24 soldiers.

Kurdish rebels have waged a campaign for autonomy in Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast since 1984. The fighting has killed more than 40,000 people. Turkey, the United States, and the European Union regard the PKK as a terrorist group.

The Turkish government has taken steps to address the demands of Kurds and other minorities for greater rights. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is pushing to amend the constitution, which was written in 1982 when Turkey was under military rule. But Kurdish leaders say an amended constitution should recognize the Kurds as a distinct element of the nation and grant them autonomy.

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