At Least 8 Killed in Southeastern Turkey Car Bombing
At least eight people were killed and dozens of others wounded Monday night in Turkey after a car exploded in the southeastern town of Gaziantep.
The car was apparently was packed with a bomb and was set off by remote control, officials said. It was situated near the Gaziantep police station when it exploded, according to Turkish media.
According to a report broadcast on NTV television, as many as 50 people were wounded in the blast.
The bombing came as people were celebrating the second of the two-day holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
No group has yet taken responsibility for the attack.
The PKK Kurdish terrorist group is active in the region, and violence is not uncommon. The battle between Turkey's government and Kurdish separatists in the country's southeastern region has recently intensified.
Earlier this month, a member of parliament – himself of Kurdish descent -- was for the first time kidnapped by Kurdish rebels and held for several days. The lawmaker, Huseyin Aygun, a member of the CHP opposition party, was finally released unharmed.
The town and province of Gaziantep is located near the Syrian border and is a center for Syrian refugees who have fled the civil war ignited in March 2011 by the region-wide “Arab Spring” uprisings.
At present, some 70,000 Syrian refugees have taken shelter in the country as rebels continue their efforts to topple the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The United Nations and various human rights organizations have estimated that more than 20,000 Syrians have died at the hands of government forces since the civil war began.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Monday his country would cap the number of refugees from Syria at 100,000. Davutoglu recommended the United Nations set up a buffer zone within Syria to care for refugees. The U.N., he said, had the authority under international law to establish refugee camps in safe zones it establishes, even within Syrian territory.