Suicide-bomb attack kills five in Turkey

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The Independent Online
Tunceli (Reuter) - At least five soldiers were killed and 25 people wounded in a suicide-bomb attack on a military parade in the eastern Turkish town of Tunceli yesterday, when a female bomber blew herself up in the town's central square.

Security officials said the attack was the work of Kurdish guerrillas who have recently threatened suicide attacks.

The attack happened two days after the creation of an Islamist-led government that ended nine months of political turmoil in Turkey.

Around 20,000 people have died in a 12-year campaign by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) guerrilla group, fighting for independence or autonomy.

The rebels are often active in the mountains around Tunceli, where security was stepped up earlier this month after a would-be bomber, also female, died in the outskirts of the town when the device she was carrying exploded prematurely.

The exiled rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan threatened in March to unleash suicide bombers on western Turkish cities if the government did not respond to a unilateral ceasefire he called last December. Turkish authorities ignored the call.

On Thursday, government troops killed dozens of Kurdish guerrillas in a cross-border raid against a rebel base in the mountains of northern Iraq, military officials said. A military official in Tunceli called the raid the biggest cross-border operation of the past four months.