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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Turkey's Erdogan vows to continue fight against terror

Iran Press TV

Sun Dec 11, 2016 6:31PM

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the recent deadly bombings in Istanbul would not dent the determination of his government in the fight against terrorism.

"They should know that they will not get away with it ... They will pay a heavier price," Erdogan said Sunday, adding that Turkey would continue its battle against terrorism "until the end."

The remarks came after Erdogan convened a security meeting of government ministers and senior bureaucrats to deal with the aftermath of a twin bombing outside an Istanbul soccer stadium which killed 38 people. Police officers accounted for 30 of the victims in the attacks which came late on Saturday.

At least 155 people were injured in the attacks, which the government swiftly blamed on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Reports on Sunday said that a group known as Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), an offshoot of the PKK, had claimed responsibility for the attacks. TAK said in a statement on its website that it had carried out the attacks for a number of reasons, including the continued imprisonment of PKK leader, Abdullah Öcalan.

"A revenge squad from TAK carried out simultaneous attacks outside Istanbul Vodafone Arena stadium and Macka park at around 10:30 pm local time (1930 GMT)," said the statement, accusing the government of resorting to "fascism" in its treatment of the Kurdish people. It said, however, that people in Turkey are not the direct target of attacks by TAK.

The militant group has claimed several other attacks against civilians and security forces in the recent past.

For more than a year, Turkey has been engaged in a massive crackdown against the PKK in its Kurdish-dominated southeast. The military claims that it has killed thousands of PKK militants in security operations, although rights campaigners and pro-Kurdish political parties say most of those killed have been civilians.

A failed coup attempt against the government in July further complicated the security situation in Turkey as the government launched a large-scale clampdown. Official figures show that more than 37,000 people have been arrested and 100,000 more discharged from work over their alleged role in the bid to topple Erdogan and his government.

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