7 killed in explosion in southeastern Turkish city

An explosion in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir Tuesday evening killed seven people and injured more than 10 others, local television station CNN-Turk said.

Most of the dead were said to be children. The state-owned Anatolia news agency confirmed only six dead, saying five of them were children. It said 16 people were injured.

The cause of the explosion near a car park was not immediately known, but authorities were looking at the possibility it could have been a bomb left in a package, an official from the local governor's office said on customary condition of anonymity.

The official said no further information was immediately available.

Diyarbakir is Turkey's largest Kurdish-majority city, and the explosion comes as Kurdish rebels fighting for autonomy in the region have stepped up their attacks.

Also on Tuesday, the Turkish military announced that authorities had defused a powerful remote-controlled bomb planted by Kurdish guerrillas on a busy bridge near the southeastern city of Hatay, and a bomb believed placed by rebels exploded as a freight train carrying coal passed in the eastern province of Bingol, damaging three rail cars.

The blasts came as the United States and Turkey began to take measures to try and counter Kurdish militants who have training camps in northern Iraq and launch frequent raids into Turkey.

Retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Joseph Ralston arrived in Ankara earlier Tuesday for talks on how to increase U.S.-Turkish cooperation in the fight against the rebels.

More than 37,000 people have been killed in fighting since rebels of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984.

Both the United States and Turkey consider the group a terrorist organization, reports AP.

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