Kurdish resistance fighters on Sunday claimed responsibility for Friday’s suicide bombing at a Turkish police station that killed one officer and wounded more than a dozen people.
The rebel Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) said in a statement printed by the Firat news agency that it had carried out the attack in retaliation “for the political and armed attacks targeting the Kurdish people.”
A PKK suicide squad killed one officer after driving into a police station in the central city of Kayseri and opening fire with weapons before setting off a bomb.
The attack killed one officer instantly, left another in critical condition and wounded 16 civilians, according to Turkish officials.
The two Kurdish assailants were also killed.
Although Turkish Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin had claimed the attackers appeared to have carried out the bombing in panic after fleeing a traffic stop in the city earlier in the day, Sunday’s PKK statement said the police station had been the target all along.
The attack marked a rare suicide bombing in Turkey, which frequently sees roadside explosions and bomb attacks carried out by Kurdish rebel fighters.
The last suicide bombing took place last October in the Turkish-occupied Kurdish town of Bingol, where two people were killed when a woman blew herself up near the headquarters of the governing AK (Justice and Development) Party.
In November 2010, a fighter from the more militant Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) blew himself up in Istanbul’s central Taksim square, wounding 32 people.
Both TAK and PKK are listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and by much of the international community.
The PKK first took up arms to liberate northern Kurdistan from Turkish rule in 1984, sparking a conflict that has since claimed over 40,000 lives, mostly Kurdish.