Kurdish militant group TAK claims Istanbul bombing

  • AFP, Istanbul
  • Updated: Jun 10, 2016 13:56 IST
Turkish police officers carry the coffin of a slain police officer, one of the victims of Tuesday's explosion, during a funeral procession at Fatih mosque in Istanbul. (AP)

Kurdish militant group the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) on Friday claimed a car bombing in the centre of Istanbul that killed seven police and four civilians earlier this week.

The TAK -- seen as a splinter group of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) -- said the attack on Tuesday was revenge for operations by the Turkish army in the Kurdish-dominated southeast and reaffirmed a warning that foreign tourists should not visit Turkey for their own safety.

“The action was carried out to counter all the savage attacks of the Turkish Republic in Nusaybin and Sirnak and other places,” it said, referring to the areas in the southeast where the army had been carrying out operations against Kurdish militants.

“We again warn foreign tourists who are in Turkey and who want to come to Turkey: foreigners are not our target but Turkey is no longer a reliable country for them,” it added.

The group described the attack as a “sacrifice action”, implying it was a suicide bombing, but did not give any further details.

The TAK has already claimed two attacks this year that killed dozens of people in the capital Ankara in February and March, raising concerns over security in the country.

Its founders are believed to have broken away several years ago from the PKK, which has waged an over three-decade insurgency against the Turkish state.

Little is known about the group but analysts consider its aims and methods to be more radical than those of the PKK, which concentrates its attacks in the southeast conflict zone.

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