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Turkish officials, family and friends attend the state funeral of a soldier, killed by a mine in the Hakkari province of Turkey. The conflict between Turkish forces and PKK militants has claimed the lives of at least 45,000 people. -AFP Photo

ANKARA: A car bomb exploded Monday, killing eight people and wounding 50 others in a city in south-east Turkey, the mayor of Gaziantap, Asim Guezelbey, told local television.

The powerful blast went off close to a police station, setting fire to several vehicles including a city bus, the mayor told NTV news channel which broadcast images of firefighters racing to put out the flames.

Gaziantap, a main city in the region, has so far been spared from the violence wrought by rebels from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) since they began their battle for autonomy in Turkey's Kurdish-majority south-east in 1984.

The conflict with the PKK, considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey and much of the international community, has claimed some 45,000 lives over nearly three decades.

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