ANKARA, Turkey, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Turkish fighter planes attacked 12 Kurdish targets in Iraq as the death count in weekend bombings in Istanbul rose to 44, government officials said.
The Turkish armed forces said Monday a 50-minute airstrike operation in northern Iraq's Zap region attacked and destroyed a command center, gun emplacements and other targets of the Kurdistan Workers Party, known as the PKK.
The organization, considered by Turkey as a terrorist group, seeks self-determination for Kurds in Turkey and Iraq. An offshoot of the group, the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks, claimed responsibility for Saturday's bombings at a soccer stadium and a nearby public park in Istanbul.
The attacks came after a heavily attended soccer match, and those killed at the stadium in a car bomb explosion included 36 police officers and eight civilians. A nearly simultaneous explosion killed the suicide bomber in nearby Macka Park. At least 155 people were injured in the two bombings, Turkish Health Minister Recep Akdag said.
"A total of 13 suspects have been arrested so far," Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said. "Signs point to the involvement of the PKK terrorist group."