1 dead in Turkey explosion in Mediterranean town

September 30, 2011 - 11:50 AM

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A bomb blast in a Mediterranean town in southern Turkey killed one person and wounded two others on Friday, officials said.

Dogan news agency said the bombing in the town of Kemer was carried out by a sucide bomber targeting a paramilitary police station. The suspected bomber detonated the explosives near a sentry box after failing to reach the station, the agency said.

The explosion damaged several cars and smashed windows of nearby buildings, it said.

The blast came 10 days after a car bombing near a school in the capital, Ankara, killed three people and wounded 34 others. A Kurdish militant group, the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons or TAK, claimed responsibility for the car bombing and threatened more attacks in retaliation to what it called the government's "war" against the rebels.

The same group had also claimed a small bombing in Kemer on Aug. 28 that wounded 10 people, including four Swedish nationals. A suicide bombing, also claimed by the Falcons, had left 32 people wounded in Istanbul in November 2010.

Kurdish rebels, who are fighting for autonomy in the Kurdish-dominated southeast, have dramatically stepped up attacks in Turkey, killing dozens of security force members and at least 14 civilians since July. They have also abducted state employees, including 12 teachers.

The rebels intensified their attacks after accusing the government of not responding to their demands, including autonomy and education in the Kurdish language — which Turkey fears could divide the country along ethnic lines.

In a nationwide crackdown on alleged Kurdish rebel sympathizers, police have detained hundreds of supporters of a pro-Kurdish party as Turkish warplanes have bombed Kurdish rebel bases in neighboring northern Iraq.

In latest reported violence in the country's Kurdish-dominated southeast, the rebels killed two soldiers in an ambush in Sirnak province late Thursday, the Interior Ministry said Friday. Three rebels were killed in an ensuing clash, it said. After the attack, the military declared several hilly areas along the Iraqi border off limits to civilians.

The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people since 1984.

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Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey, contributed to this report.