PKK offshoot TAK claims responsibility for İstanbul bombings

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The Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), an offshoot of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), on Sunday claimed responsibility for twin bomb attacks that hit İstanbul on Saturday evening.

The explosions, triggered by a car and a suicide bomber less than one minute apart, struck outside the Beşiktaş football team’s stadium less than two hours after a match had finished on Saturday evening. The attacks claimed the lives of 38 people and injured 166 others.

TAK also claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack in Adana on Nov. 24 that took the lives of two people, and another one in Diyarbakır on Nov. 4 that killed 11.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım earlier on Sunday said the attacks were without doubt the work of the PKK.

Speaking to reporters after visiting victims in the hospital, Yıldırım said, “We have no doubt that this [terrorist attacks] is the work of the PKK.”

In a similar statement, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said in remarks to CNN Turk: “The arrows point to the PKK. It was clearly a planned event. There will be an announcement once the investigations are over. We cannot say anything definite for now.”

Turkish authorities had conducted direct talks with jailed PKK chief Abdullah Öcalan for several years until a truce in effect collapsed in the summer of 2015. Since then, there have been heavy clashes between the PKK and Turkish security forces.

More than 40,000 people, including 5,500 security force members, have been killed in four decades of fighting between the Turkish state and the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU.

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