ANKARA, Turkey, March 17 (UPI) -- An affiliate of Turkey's outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, admitted responsibility for a suicide bombing in Ankara that killed 37 people.
A statement by the Teyrebazen Azadiya Kurdistan, or Kurdistan Freedom Hawks, said the explosion at a major urban transportation hub in the capital's Kizilay neighborhood was meant to kill security forces and not civilians, and was in response to military operations against the PKK, or Kurdistan Workers' Party, in southeastern Turkey. Most of the casualties, including 125 injured, 31 still hospitalized and nine in intensive care, the Health Ministry confirmed, were civilians.
The Interior Ministry identified Seher Cagla Demir, 24, as the suicide bomber. TAK also acknowledged her responsibility on its website, referring to Demir by her code name, "Doga Jiyan."
Responding to the bombing, Turkish airstrikes attacked 18 Kurdish targets in northern Iraq, mostly ammunition dumps shelters, and Turkish police detained 11 people.
The bombing was the third incident in the Turkish capital in six months. Government sources quickly identified the suspect as a female and alleged PKK member who crashed her bomb-laden car into a bus. The explosion ignited nearby buildings and vehicles.
The PKK and TAK are regarded as terrorist organizations by Turkey and the United States.