Bomb kills two in Turkey

Two people have been killed, and seven injured, in a bomb explosion in a tea garden in south-eastern Turkey.

The remote-controlled bomb was left at a tea garden in the town of Catak in Van province which borders Iran, a police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of rules that bar civil servants from speaking to journalists.

The bomb exploded as police arrived at the scene to investigate a suspicious package at the open-air cafe, where people gather to drink tea, eat snacks and play backgammon.

Two people, including a police officer, died of injuries in hospital, a government official said.

Police suspect autonomy-seeking Kurdish rebels were behind the bombing, the police official said.

Television footage showed medics carrying the injured from ambulances onto stretchers and into the emergency service of a heavily guarded hospital.

Last week, a Kurdish militant group believed to be linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) claimed responsibility for a wave of bombings in tourist resorts and in Istanbul that left three people dead and dozens injured, including 10 Britons and several other tourists.

More than 37,000 people have died since the guerrillas took up arms for autonomy in the Kurdish-dominated southeast in 1984.

Turkey has been pressuring the United States and Iraq to wipe out rebel hideouts in neighbouring Iraq.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organisation by Washington and the European Union.

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