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Turkey attacks PKK targets after Ankara bombing kills 37

By Ed Adamczyk Follow @adamczyk_ed Contact the Author   |   March 14, 2016 at 8:54 AM

ANKARA, Turkey, March 14 (UPI) -- Turkey began a crackdown on the outlawed Kurdish rebel group PKK after a suicide bomber killed at least 37 people in Ankara.

The bombing Sunday is the third incident in the Turkish capital in six months, and government sources said a female suicide bomber and alleged PKK member crashed her bomb-laden car into a bus. The explosion ignited nearby buildings and vehicles and injured 125 people.

Turkish fighter planes struck 18 targets, largely shelters and ammunition facilities at PKK encampments in Iraq. No casualties were reported.

Authorities also declared curfews in Yuksekova, Nusaybin and Sirnak, largely Kurdish towns in southeastern Turkey.

The PKK confirmed the attacks, although it has not taken responsibility for the Ankara bombing.

"Our state will never give up its right to self-defense against all kinds of terror threats," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a statement. "Our soldiers, policemen, village guards, all our security forces are resolutely struggling against terrorist organization at the risk of their lives."

The Turkish government banned social media to prevent photos of the incident from being disseminated.

The PKK rebellion against the Turkish government began in 1984 and has cost more than 40,000 lives thus far. A February car bombing in Ankara, with a PKK splinter group claiming responsibility, killed 29 people. The explosion of a bomb during a peace rally in Ankara in October 2015 killed more than 100 people.

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