Four killed in Istanbul blast
At least four people have been killed and a dozen injured in a bomb attack on a military convoy in the Turkish city of Istanbul as Ankara ups its crackdown on the country's Kurdish militants. The explosion came early on Tuesday when a roadside bomb ripped through a bus passing through the Halkali district, a suburb on the European side of the city where military housing complexes are located, AFP cited Turkish media as saying. Two soldiers and a 17-year-old girl were killed on board the vehicle which was carrying a number of military personnel and their families. The death toll rose to four when a third soldier died in the hospital of the severe injuries he had sustained in the blast, according to Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu. "This is a terrorist attack... According to initial information, it was a remote-control bomb planted at the roadside," he said, adding 12 other people were injured in the attack and that two of them were in critical condition. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing, but such attacks are usually blamed on the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group. On Monday, Turkish military forces began a major deployment of troops and elite forces along the border with northern Iraq, where the Kurd militants are holed up in their mountainous strongholds. Amid intensifying clashes between Ankara troops and PKK guerillas, the militants threatened on the weekend to launch attacks in all Turkish cities.