September 29, 2015 / 5:19 AM / in 3 years

Five children hurt in bomb blast in southeast Turkey

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - Five children were injured on Monday when a bomb tore through a street in the Turkish city of Diyarbakir, where deadly clashes have followed the collapse of a ceasefire by Kurdish militants.

Turkish soldiers in a tank and an armored vehicle patrol on the road to the town of Beytussebab in the southeastern Sirnak province, Turkey, September 28, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

In a separate attack, masked gunman on a motorcycle killed a police officer and wounded another in the city of Adana, which has a sizeable Kurdish population, security sources said.

The most intense fighting since the 1990s has engulfed the mainly Kurdish southeast after the state launched air strikes against the armed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey and Iraq in July. More than 100 security personnel and hundreds of militants have been killed.

Gunmen opened fire on a vehicle carrying the mayor of Sanliurfa, according to the provincial governor’s office.

Mayor Nihat Ciftciye, who belongs to Turkey’s ruling AK Party, was unharmed, media reports said.

Earlier in the day, five soldiers were injured in the town of Tatvan when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb, security sources said.

The military released footage it said showed guided-missile strikes against PKK targets in northern Iraq on Sept. 25 and 26, state-run broadcaster TRT said.

They destroyed shelters in which the rebels had sought refuge from the strikes, as well as weapon stores, killing more than 20 PKK members, TRT reported.

Iraqi Kurdish leaders and the central government in Baghdad have criticized such strikes on their territory in the past.

A hospital official in Diyarbakir said the children were hurt by the bomb in the city’s historic district of Sur, scene of recent street clashes between security forces and the PKK.

Diyarbakir is the largest city in southeast Turkey, home to most of the country’s 15 million Kurds.

Anti-terror police in Diyarbakir raided the offices of Azadiya Welat, Dicle News Agency and other media outlets seen as sympathetic to Kurdish nationalists and detained 32 people, a local press association said.

The PKK, listed by the United States, Turkey and the European Union as a terrorist group, has waged an armed campaign for greater autonomy since 1984, but peace talks that began in 2012 had brought relative peace to the southeast.

The government has accused the PKK of using the 2-1/2 year truce to stockpile guns, while the opposition has said the government ended the peace process after a pro-Kurdish party won enough votes in June to enter parliament and deprive the ruling AK Party of a majority.

The party failed to find a coalition partner, and a new vote is scheduled for Nov. 1.

Writing by Ayla Jean Yackley; Editing by David Dolan and Andrew Roche

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