Kurdish rebel group takes responsibility for Turkey airport blast

An armed Kurdish group on Saturday took responsibility for an explosion near a plane at Istanbul’s second international airport that killed a female cleaner and wounded another.

“We … claim the attack carried by mortar bombs at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen airport,” on Wednesday, the Freedom Falcons of Kurdistan (TAK) said on its website.

Airport cleaner Zehra Yamac, 30, died of head wounds hours after the blast on the tarmac at the airport on the Asian side of Turkey’s largest city. The wounded victim was also a cleaner.

The attack came as Turkey wages an all-out offensive against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which launched an armed insurgency against the Turkish state in 1984, initially fighting for Kurdish independence, then pressing for greater autonomy for the country’s largest ethnic minority.

Turkish officials say TAK is a front for PKK attacks even though the PKK says it has no affiliation with the group.

On its website, TAK lashed out at what it described as a “war coalition” between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Islamic State group against the Kurds.

It also said the airport attack was a response to the “fascist attacks that turn Kurdish cities into ruins.”

The armed group, which had been silent for some time, claimed the attack had inflicted “serious damage” to the airport and that five planes were “heavily” damaged.

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