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October31, 2010 (KATAKAMI / BLOOMBERG) — At least over 15 people were injured in a blast in central Istanbul that the city’s police chief said was caused by a suicide bomber.
The attacker attempted to board a police minibus in Taksim Square in the Turkish city today, Huseyin Capkin told NTV television. Capkin said at least nine police and six others were injured, and said that two of the injured are in a serious condition. It wasn’t immediately clear who was responsible for the blast. Kurdish, leftist and Islamist groups have carried out attacks in the city in the past.
A country-wide cease-fire imposed by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, was scheduled to expire today. A senior commander of the group, Murat Karayilan, apologized for killing civilians and said he wants to extend the cease-fire indefinitely, Radikal newspaper reported on Oct. 28. He also vowed not to harm civilians in future attacks, the newspaper cited him as saying in an interview.
Turkey’s fight against the PKK, which seeks autonomy in the country’s largely Kurdish southeast and is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. and European Union, has led to the deaths of some 40,000 people since 1984, most of them Kurdish civilians.