Turkey carries out strikes after bombing

  • 14/03/2016

By Suzan Fraser

Turkey's air force has hit Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq on Monday (local time), hours after a car bombing that killed 37 people in the Turkish capital of Ankara, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.

Nine F-16s and two F-4 jets raided 18 positions of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK in the northern Iraq, including the Qandil mountains where the group's leadership is based.

Police meanwhile carried out raids in the southern city of Adana, detaining suspected rebels of the PKK, the agency reported.

The private Dogan news agency said at least 36 suspects were taken under custody.

Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu said three more people died overnight from wounds suffered in the Sunday night attack that targeted buses and people waiting at bus stops at the heart of Ankara. Scores of others were injured.

A senior government official says authorities believe the attack was carried out by two bombers -- one of them a woman -- and was the work of Kurdish militants.

It was the second deadly attack blamed on Kurdish militants in the capital in the past month and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to bring "terrorism to its knees."

On February 17, a suicide car-bombing in the capital targeted buses carrying military personnel, killing 29 people.

A Kurdish militant group which is an offshoot of the PKK claimed responsibility.

Sunday's blast came as Turkey's security forces were set to launch large-scale operations against militants in two mainly Kurdish towns -- Yuksekova, near the border with Iraq and in Nusaybin, which borders Syria -- after authorities imposed curfews there.

Turkey has been imposing curfews in several flashpoints in the southeast since August to root out militants linked to the PKK.

The PKK has been designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and the European Union.