Bomb blast in south-eastern Turkey killed four children

Firefighters tackle a blaze after the bomb blast in Gaziantep, Turkey, 21 August A bus and other vehicles near the police station were set on fire

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Four children are now known to have died in a bomb blast in the south-eastern Turkish city of Gaziantep on Monday evening.

A total of nine people were killed and 69 injured, officials said, when a remote-controlled car bomb went off near a police station.

A bus and other vehicles near the police station were set on fire.

The PKK Kurdish rebel group denied carrying out the attack, saying it did not attack civilians.

In another development, Turkish media report that nine soldiers and a village guard were killed when a minibus they were travelling in rolled over into a ditch in the south-eastern province of Sirnak on Tuesday.

It appears that the driver lost control of the vehicle on a bend and there was no suggestion of a rebel attack.

List of ages

Rebels are active in south-eastern Turkey, which has a Kurdish majority.

BBC map

After Monday's explosion, a crowd of angry men chanted slogans against the rebels and their jailed leader, Abdullah Ocalan.

Listing the dead, the Turkish newspaper Sabah said they included children aged one, three, 11 and 13.

Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay blamed the PKK, AFP news agency reports.

However, in a statement published by the pro-Kurdish Firatnews agency, the PKK said: "Our forces have nothing to do with this attack. We do not attack civilians."

No other group has said it had carried out the attack.

Clashes between the PKK - which seeks autonomy for the Kurds - and Turkey's armed forces have increased in south-eastern Turkey over the past year.

Classified as a terrorist organisation by the EU and the US, the PKK launched a guerrilla campaign in 1984 for an ethnic homeland in the Kurdish heartland in the south-east of Turkey.

Some 40,000 people, including civilians, have been killed in its war against the Turkish state.

The south-east has also recently become home to tens of thousands of Syrians, the BBC's Gabriel Gatehouse reports from Antakya, which is close to Gaziantep.

Most have fled the fighting at home, he says, but some are fighters themselves and the Turkish authorities will be on high alert for any suggestion that the conflict in Syria could be spilling over into Turkey.

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