A roadside bomb planted by suspected Kurdish rebels exploded in southeastern Turkey killing five policemen and three civilians including a child, security officials said.
The bomb, placed on a road in the Guroymak district of Turkey’s Bitlis province, struck a police vehicle as it returned from a shooting range, officials said.
Five policemen inside the vehicle as well as three civilian bystanders, including a two-year-old girl, were killed by the blast, they said. Three people were being treated for wounds, Reuters reports.
Kurdish separatists have carried out a string of attacks in southeastern Turkey in recent months, killing more than 50 Turkish personnel since July. Bitlis is located in the mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey.
The Turkish military has launched retaliatory air raids on Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq, its first strikes in the region in more than a year.
Both the central government in Baghdad and regional Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq have condemned the Turkish raids as a violation of Iraqi sovereignty.
Kurdish rebels took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984 and more than 40,000 people have died in the conflict. They have bases in northern Iraq from which they cross the border to attack Turkish targets.
The militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
Last month, five people were killed and at least 13 wounded when a car bomb exploded in a busy street in the Turkish capital Ankara. [ID:nL5E7KK0YD]
The Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), a group connected to the PKK, claimed responsibility for that attack and threatened more in Turkish cities.