Eight killed in minibus blast in Turkey

Kurdish guerrillas are suspected to be behind the roadside bomb attack.

Ankara: A roadside bomb attack killed at least eight people on Thursday in the latest violence that shook Turkey`s turbulent southeast where Kurdish guerrillas fought a bitter war for autonomy for decades, authorities said.

The incident occurred near the village of Gecitli in the rugged Hakkari province, bordering Iran and Iraq. Governor Muammer Guler of Hakkari said eight were killed and three others, including a baby, were injured in the explosion. Earlier CNN-Turk television, citing Cihan news agency, had put the death toll at 12, but authorities confirmed eight deaths.

Turkish troops launched a manhunt to find the rebels, believed to be behind the attack, the governor said.

Kurdish rebels have targeted military vehicles with improvised explosive devices, including Wednesday in Hakkari province. There have also been several other attacks on police by Kurdish militants over the past week, which would violate a ceasefire that the rebels declared before a religious holiday as a pro-Kurdish party called on the government to open dialogue with rebels for a peaceful solution.

The pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party boycotted a referendum Sunday over the Constitution, arguing that ethnic Kurdish identity was not fully recognised by the state.

The rebels have been fighting for autonomy in the country`s Kurdish-dominated southeast since 1984. The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people.

Bureau Report

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