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U.S. condemns deadly bomb attack in Turkey

(Xinhua)

09:55, August 22, 2012

WASHINGTON, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. State Department on Tuesday condemned the deadly bomb attack in Turkey, leaving at least nine dead and dozens injured.

"We condemn the attack that took place yesterday in Gaziantep, Turkey, that left nine people dead and more than 60 people injured, " State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said at a regular briefing, expressing her "deepest condolences" to the families of the victims.

Nuland reaffirmed the U.S. support in Turkey's fight against terrorism and called for calm in the wake of the attack.

The deadly blast occurred near a police station in the southeastern Turkish province of Gaziantep on Monday night. The banned Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), the usual suspect in similar attacks in Turkey, denied responsibility.

Clashes between Turkish security forces and the PKK have intensified in recent months. Tuesday's attack is also likely to further strain the already tense relations between Turkey and its neighbor Syria as Turkish officials indicated collaboration of the PKK and the Syrian regime in the incident.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and most of the international community, took up arms in 1984 in an attempt to create an ethnic homeland in the southeastern Turkey. Since then, more than 40,000 people have been killed in conflicts involving the group.

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