Turkish attacks act of terror, Gul says

Aug. 22, 2012 at 1:08 PM
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ANKARA, Turkey, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- An attack near a police station close to the Turkish border with Syria was an act of terrorism, the Turkish president told mourners Wednesday.

A car bomb in the Turkish border province of Gaziantep killed nine civilians and left at least 70 people injured Monday. Turkish authorities blamed the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party for the attack. The group denied responsibility for the bombing.

The Kurdistan Workers' Party, known by its Kurdish initials PKK, is fighting a separatist campaign along the southern Turkish border.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul told mourners Wednesday the attack was no way to pursue Kurdish ambitions in the region.

"It was an act of terror carried out in an organized manner by people who have lost their human feelings," he was quoted by Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman as saying.

Turkish military operations along the southern border left around 150 PKK fighters dead last month. The latest attacks came during the three-day religious holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

The attack highlights regional concerns the conflict in Syria may spill over the borders. Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, said Washington remained a steadfast ally.

"The United States stands with Turkey in its fight against terrorism, and we join the Turkish authorities in calling for calm in the wake of these tragic events," she said.

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