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3 killed in rebel landmine blast in SE Turkey PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 10 May 2008

Three people were killed and five wounded on Friday when a landmine detonated by Kurdish guerrillas destroyed their minibus in southeast Turkey, security officials told Reuters.

The minibus was traveling in Batman province when the blast occurred. One of those killed was a village teacher. Among the five injured, two were seriously hurt, said the officials, who declined to be identified.

"Our assessment is that the explosion, which targeted a minibus carrying villagers, was remotely detonated. We have sent a helicopter to the site," Batman governor Recep Kizilcik told Reuters.

He said members of the state "village guard" militia were traveling in the minibus.

Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants frequently plant mines targeting Turkish security forces in their separatist insurgency in southeast Turkey, where the military is conducting extensive land and air operations against them.

In a separate attack, a military officer and a member of a village guard militia were injured in a landmine blast in the southeastern province of Siirt.

Ankara blames the PKK for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, mostly Kurds, since the group began its armed campaign for an ethnic homeland in southeast Turkey in 1984.

In recent months, the Turkish armed forces have launched regular air operations against PKK targets in the mountains of northern Iraq from where several thousand guerrillas launch attacks into southeast Turkey.

Turkey, the United States and the European Union consider the PKK a terrorist organization.

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