Istanbul bomb kills one, injures 13
ISTANBUL, Turkey – A bomb hidden in a garbage can exploded near an Istanbul bus stop Friday, killing a street vendor and injuring 13 people, officials said.A Kurdish militant group claimed responsibility, calling the attack retaliation for the killings of Kurds in southeastern Turkey.A 3-year-old boy was shot and killed during renewed clashes pitting angry Kurds against Turkish police and paramilitary officers in the southeast, officials said, increasing to seven the death toll in the worst street violence in a decade in the overwhelmingly Kurdish area.The death followed reports that a 6-year-old and two young men wounded during earlier clashes died overnight in hospitals.The military killed seven Kurdish rebels, including two women, during fighting in a mountainous area in the southeast, the Anatolia news agency reported.Twenty-one Kurdish rebels have also been killed in fighting in the southeast in recent days.In an e-mail to journalists, the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, a small militant group, said the bomb attack was “a warning” and said it would “turn Turkey into hell” if the violence did not end.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 shadowy group has claimed responsibility for a number of bomb attacks in Turkey, including one in the Aegean resort town of Cesme last summer that wounded 21.Video broadcast on CNN-Turk television of the aftermath of the Istanbul explosion showed debris scattered on a street, covering the sidewalk and parked cars. Istanbul Gov. Muammer Guler said the man killed in the blast was a street vendor of sesame-coated pretzels.Istanbul has a large Kurdish population and a number of militant Kurdish groups.Earlier Friday, bomb disposal teams destroyed a remote-controlled bomb made of 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.Kurdish rebels have carried out attacks using C-4 explosives in the past.The European Union said Friday it was “very concerned” by recent deadly clashes between Kurds and security forces. EU spokeswoman Krisztina Nagy said the European Commission was calling on Ankara ensure that the Kurdish minority be given cultural rights as a way to ease tensions.”We deplore the loss of all human life, and we are well aware that there is a serious terrorist problem in the region, but it is a much wider issue than just a security problem,” she said.The 25 EU governments opened membership talks with Turkey in October, but insisted the country improve its human rights record and treatment of minorities, including the Kurds and religious minorities such as Christians.The United States issued a warning on Friday to Americans about violence in Kurdish areas of eastern Turkey, saying the unrest could spread to the country’s main cities in the West. The State Department said clashes involved security forces “and sympathizers of the PKK terrorist organization.”Vail, Colorado
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