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Kurdish Group Claims Responsibility For Istanbul Explosion

(RFE/RL) 13 February 2006 -- As many as 15 people were injured today in an explosion outside a supermarket in Istanbul -- the second blast to hit Turkey's biggest city in four days.

Turkish officials say at least two people were seriously wounded in the blast, which occurred on Istanbul's European side.

A report by the Netherlands-based news agency Firat said the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons Organization claimed responsibility, saying it carried out the attack in response to Turkey's policies toward the Kurdish people.

That same group also claimed responsibility for a bombing on 9 February that injured 15 people. It is believed to have ties to the main Kurdish guerrilla group, the Kurdistan Workers' Party.

Some 37,000 people have died since 1984 in a conflict between Turkish forces and Kurdish guerrillas fighting for autonomy in the southeast.

(Reuters, AP, dpa)