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May 12, 5:11 PM EDT

Official: 4 Kurdish rebels killed in blast in Turkey


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ISTANBUL (AP) -- A Turkish official said four Kurdish rebels were killed while loading explosives onto a truck in southeastern Turkey on Thursday, hours after a separate blast targeting the military in Istanbul wounded eight.

The explosion that killed the Kurdish rebels occurred in the province of Diyarbakir in the Sarikamis district and it wounded 10 others, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to the media.

Sarikamis is about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir.

In Istanbul, a car bomb targeting the Turkish military exploded, wounding eight people, officials said.

The explosion occurred inside a parked car near the entrance to a military garrison in Istanbul's Sancaktepe neighborhood as the evening rush hour began, the area's mayor, Ismail Erdem, said.

Five military personnel and three civilians were injured in the explosion, one seriously, Istanbul governor Vasip Sahin said.

The private Dogan news agency showed video of the wrecked car, which was still on fire. The windows of nearby buildings were blown out by the force of the blast.

The explosion comes just two days after Kurdish rebels detonated a car bomb close to a police vehicle in Diyarbakir, killing three people and wounding dozens.

The rebels of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, have been targeting police and military targets since July, when a fragile peace process collapsed. The Islamic State group has also been blamed for a series of deadly bombings in Turkey.

The PKK is fighting for autonomy for Turkey's Kurds in the southeast of the country. It has waged a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state in a conflict that has claimed 40,000 lives. The group is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey and its allies.

PKK-linked rebels have staged multiple bomb attacks against Turkish police and troops, which in turn have carried out tank-backed security operations in flashpoint areas.

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