Car bomb kills child, wounds 18 in southeast Turkey

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey Sun Nov 4, 2012 1:25pm EST

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DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - A car bomb targeting a military vehicle in southeast Turkey on Sunday killed an 11-year-old child and wounded 18 other people, Turkish officials said.

The blast happened when a police special forces armored vehicle passed the entrance to the town of Semdinli, near Turkey's borders with Iraq and Iran, the scene of frequent conflict between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants.

Most of the wounded were believed to be passers-by, with two reported to be in a serious condition. Police in the armored vehicle suffered only light wounds, Dogan news agency reported.

"This cowardly attack was right next to a place where weddings are held. Unfortunately there were civilian losses," Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan told a meeting of his AK Party, announcing the death of the 11-year-old child.

Police launched a search for the perpetrators and to see if there were any other car bombs in the area, security sources said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The area is a focus of activity for the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has several thousand fighters based in the mountains of neighboring northern Iraq.

More than 40,000 people have been killed in the PKK's conflict with Turkey since it took up arms in 1984 with the aim of carving out a state in the mainly Kurdish southeast of the country.

The PKK is designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union.

(Reporting by Seyhmus Cakan in Diyarbakir; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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