Suicide Bomber in Turkey Kills 2, Wounds 12

ANKARA, Turkey-- A female suicide bomber killed two people in Turkey's southeastern Kurdish region and wounded 12 others, authorities said.

The attack occurred in a main street of the mainly-Kurdish city of Bingol, Gov. Mustafa Hakan Guvencer said. There was no immediate responsibility claim, but Kurdish rebels who are fighting for autonomy in Turkey's southeast have carried out suicide bombings in the past.

Guvencer said the attack was on one of the city's busiest streets and three of the wounded were in serious condition. The blast shattered glass and shop windows in surrounding buildings. He said the attacker was a woman.

Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin said the blast was near the local branch of the ruling party, but the building was not the intended target. The attack came on the 88th anniversary of the founding of the Turkish republic.

Television footage showed people running away from the site of the explosion, while others urged people to evacuate the streets. Some were seen surrounding a corpse.
Turkey's conflict with the rebels of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, has killed tens of thousands of people since the insurgents took up arms in 1984.

The attack comes 10 days after Turkey's military launched massive anti-rebel operations in both southeastern Turkey and across the border in northern Iraq --where the rebels maintain bases -- killing dozens of rebels. Those operations were spurred by coordinated rebel attacks on military and police posts near the border that killed 24 soldiers -- the deadliest one-day toll against the military since the 1990s.

The last suicide bombing was in September, when the attacker detonated a bomb outside a paramilitary station near a Mediterranean resort town, wounding two others. Ten days earlier, a car bomb in the capital, Ankara, killed five people. A Kurdish militant group, the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons or TAK, claimed responsibility for the car bombing and threatened more attacks.