Babylon & Beyond

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TURKEY: Explosion in Kurdish rebel stronghold kills at least eight

September 16, 2010 |  3:09 am


A Ramadan cease-fire in the long-brewing war between Turkey and Kurdish rebels may have come to an end Thursday morning.

Authorities say at least eight people were killed and three injured in  southeastern Turkey when an explosion from a bomb or land mine struck a civilian minibus, according to news reports. 

The semiofficial Anatolia News Agency cited a local official as saying the explosion took place near the city of Hakkari, among the centers of a 26-year Kurdish insurgency against the Turkish government. 

The privately owned CNN-Turk channel said the explosion was caused by a land mine. 

Political difficulties have recently dashed hopes for peace between the Ankara government and the militant Kurdistan Workers Party, known by the Turkish acronym PKK.

Kurds in the country's southeast largely heeded a call to boycott last weekend's nationwide referendum on changes to the constitution, underscoring the rift between the country's Turks and its largest ethnic minority.

-- Borzou Daragahi in Beirut

Photo: In this picture taken  Aug 13, 2010, members of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, are seen in the Qandil mountain range of Iraq. Credit: AP Photo/Yahya Ahmed