Istanbul blast rocks bus carrying soldiers, 3 dead

  • World
  • Tuesday, 22 Jun 2010

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - An explosion rocked a bus carrying military personnel in Turkey's largest city of Istanbul on Tuesday, killing three people a day after the Turkish military stepped up operations against Kurdish separatists.

The explosion occurred near a military housing complex in the district of Halkali, and two of those killed were soldiers.

Nine were wounded in the blast, broadcaster NTV reported.

Turkish military forces began a major deployment of troops and elite forces along the border with Iraq on Monday, as fighting has intensified between Turkish military forces and militants of the illegal Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Kurdish separatists have increased their attacks on military installations in Turkey's volatile southeast, though it has carried out attacks on civilian targets in the past.

Television channels showed images of the bus's shattered windows, as well as injured being rushed to hospital.

It was not clear how many passengers were on the bus or how many were military personnel.

PKK guerrillas killed 11 soldiers at the weekend and one soldier was killed late on Monday.

The PKK said this month it had scrapped a year-old unilateral ceasefire and resumed attacks against Turkish forces because of military operations against it. (Reporting by Thomas Grove; Editing by Charles Dick)

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