Police officer killed in Turkey suicide attack

AP News
Posted: Sep 11, 2012 12:52 PM
Police officer killed in Turkey suicide attack

ISTANBUL (AP) — A suicide bomber threw a hand grenade and then blew himself up at the entrance to a police station in Turkey's biggest city, killing a police officer and injuring seven others, authorities said Tuesday.

Police identified the bomber as a member of the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front, also known by its Turkish acronym DHKP-C, which has claimed responsibility for a number of assassinations and bombings since the 1970s.

Police said the man had participated in hunger strikes while serving a prison sentence for membership in the outlawed group.

Ambulances raced to the scene of the blast in a suburb of Istanbul. Forensic investigators then moved in, combing the area for evidence.

The DHKP-C has been relatively quiet in recent years, while fighting between Turkish forces and Kurdish rebels who seek self-rule has surged in recent months. The military announced Monday that it had conducted air strikes over the past week in northern Iraq, where Kurdish rebels have bases. Some 25 guerrillas were killed in the operation, according to the military.

Authorities blamed the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party for a bomb last month that killed nine people near a police station in a city close to the Syrian border. Rebels denied involvement, though they have escalated attacks in what some analysts believe is an attempt to capitalize on regional uncertainty surrounding the civil war in Syria.