Three suspects remanded over deadly Istanbul attack

A total of 12 people were held over the bombing of a police bus in the heart of Istanbul on Tuesday

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Three suspects held over an attack in Istanbul this week claimed by Kurdish rebels that left 11 dead have been remanded in custody, the Dogan news agency reported Saturday.

A total of 12 people were held over the bombing of a police bus in the heart of Istanbul on Tuesday. Six of the victims were police officers and the rest civilians.

Nine were released and three remanded, accused of being “members of an armed terrorist organisation”, attacking the state and pre-meditated murder, Dogan said.

Militant Kurdish group the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) -- seen as a splinter group of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) -- on Friday claimed responsibility for the Istanbul attack at the start of the city’s peak tourism season.

The TAK said the bombing was revenge for operations by the Turkish army in the Kurdish-dominated southeast and reaffirmed a warning that foreign tourists should not visit Turkey for their own safety.

Meanwhile the PKK claimed another attack that took place in the southeast on Wednesday. A suicide car bombing at a police station left six people dead including a pregnant policewoman.

Turkey’s new Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, who has adopted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s hardline against the rebels, on Saturday urged young members to quit the PKK, considered a terrorist organisation by Ankara, Brussels and Washington.

“Let’s put an end to clashes, let’s take peace, fraternity and solidarity as far as possible,” he said during a speech in Istanbul.

On Friday two soldiers were killed and four others wounded in clashes with the PKK in Hakkari in the restive southeast, the army said.

Over 40,000 people have been killed since the PKK took up arms in 1984 demanding an independent state for Kurds. Since then the group has narrowed its demands to greater autonomy and cultural rights.