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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Bomb hits Turk ruling party site, no one hurt-agency

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey, July 30 (Reuters) - A bomb exploded outside an office of Turkey's ruling AK Party on Sunday, state news agency Anatolian reported, hours after a child was killed stepping on a landmine in the mainly Kurdish southeast.

The percussion bomb shattered windows at the Justice and Development Party (AKP) site in the southeastern city of Gaziantep but the office was closed and no one was killed or injured, Anatolian said.

Local police could not confirm the report and no one at the party was available to comment.

The bombing was the latest of three attacks this month on ruling party offices and comes amid an escalation of violence in the southeast between Turkish troops and Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) guerrillas.

On Sunday security forces launched a new operation against PKK militants in the mountainous province of Bingol after a child was killed by a landmine there, security officials said.

Three other children, who were gathering hay, were also injured in the blast, which followed a fatal mine attack on a village guard government militiaman on Saturday.

Dozens of soldiers have been killed this year -- with as many as 16 killed in one week in July -- prompting Ankara to reiterate it could enter northern Iraq in pursuit of thousands of PKK militants it says are based there.

It blames the group for more than 30,000 deaths since the start of its campaign for a homeland in 1984.
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