Riot police stand guard at Taksim square during a pro-Kurdish protest against military air strikes, in central Istanbul. - Reuters Photo

ISTANBUL: A woman whom Turkish police suspect of having been a suicide bomber died in Istanbul late on Thursday after explosives that she was carrying went off, media reports said on Friday.

The woman was torn to bits by the explosion that occurred in the Sancaktepe neighbourhood of the city, according to NTV television.

There were no immediate reports of anyone else being hurt in the explosion.

The police suspect that the woman, whose identity has not yet been revealed, was acting on behalf of the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The PKK took up arms in southeastern Turkey in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed about 45,000 lives. It is labelled a terrorist outfit by Ankara and much of the international community.

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