PKK splinter group claims suicide attack in Turkey's Bursa

AFP , Sunday 1 May 2016

A radical Kurdish militant group on Sunday claimed a suicide bombing in Turkey's former Ottoman capital of Bursa last week, saying the female assailant had failed to reach her intended target.

The attack on Wednesday evening near Bursa's famed 14th century Grand Mosque wounded thirteen people but caused no fatalities other than the female suicide bomber herself.

The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) -- a radical splinter group of the better-known Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) -- said in a statement on its website that one of its members had carried out the attack.

It said the bomber was a 23-year-old woman named Eser Cali and said the attack was aimed at avenging the Turkish government's current military operation in the Kurdish-dominated southeast.

But the statement added that the bomber had detonated her charge and been killed "due an accident before she had reached the target that was to be brought to account for the massacres against our people."

It did not give details on the nature of the intended target but denied she was planning to attack the Grand Mosque.

The TAK has already claimed two attacks that killed dozens of people in the capital Ankara in February and March.

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.

Commentators suggested at the time that the bomber had detonated her charge prematurely, sparing Bursa an attack which could have caused considerable loss of life.

The Turkish authorities have yet to say which group was behind the attack, although press reports have suggested a link to the PKK.

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