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Turkish police detain nine over blast at ruling party HQ

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish police on Friday detained nine people in connection with attacks on the headquarters of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's ruling party and the justice ministry, state-run Anatolian news agency reported.

The Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) claimed responsibility for the attacks in the capital Ankara on Tuesday, which Erdogan saw as an attempt to derail peace talks to end a three-decade Kurdish insurgency.

Abdullah Ocalan, jailed leader of the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), ordered his fighters on Thursday to cease fire and withdraw from Turkish soil as a step to ending a conflict in which 40,000 people have been killed.

Both organisations were formed in the 1970s with similar leftist ideologies. But they have taken divergent paths and the DHKP-C - which is pursing its own fight with the state - would have little to gain from a peace settlement.

The DHKP-C has following a revolutionary and virulently anti-American path, while the PKK has focused on Kurdish identity.

Tuesday's attacks were carried out following the detention of 12 alleged DHKP-C members in Istanbul. Police also raided 14 locations in Ankara on Friday, Turkish media reported.

Since January, Turkish police have detained more than 100 alleged DHKP-C members and seized weapons in operations against the group.

In February, a DHKP-C suicide bomber killed himself and one security guard at an entrance to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara.

The DHKP-C, which is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey and the United States, wants a socialist state and often attacks what it describes as imperialist or colonialist interests and nations.

(Writing by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Parisa Hafezi, John Stonestreet)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130322/turkish-police-detain-nine-over-blast-at-ruling-party-hq