ANKARA, Turkey — Kurdish rebels detonated a car bomb in southeast Turkey on Sunday, killing an 11-year-old child and wounding 18 other people, officials said.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the explosion occurred as an armored police vehicle was traveling on a road in the town of Semdinli, near the border with Iraq. The bomb went off close to a wedding celebration.
Erdogan blamed the attack on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which is fighting for self-rule in Turkey’s southeast and is active in Semdinli.
The attack comes amid a surge in violence by the rebels in recent months. Hundreds of Kurdish inmates are on a hunger strike to demand increased rights for Kurds and the PKK has staged some its most audacious attacks in years.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed since the PKK took up arms in 1984.
The government is alarmed by recent indications that Syrian Kurdish groups sympathetic to the PKK have reached an unofficial agreement with Syrian President Bashir Assad allowing them to govern sections of northern Syria.
That change has allowed Kurdish separatists to refocus their attention on Turkey, with bold new attacks and a campaign aimed at kidnapping teachers and burning down schools.