Published: Sun, December 18, 2016
World | By Tasha Manning

Car bomb kills 13 Turkish commandos, army says

Car bomb kills 13 Turkish commandos, army says

A vehicle bomb blast killed 13 Turkish troops and wounded 55 persons, a lot of them military personnel, in the central Anatolian province of Kayseri on Saturday morning, according to official figures. Most, if not all of the victims were soldiers.

Broadcaster NTV said the bus was carrying off-duty soldiers and civilians when it was hit by the blast near a bus stop at the campus of Erciyes University. Forty-four people died and more than 150 were wounded in that incident.Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said similar materials were used in both attacks.

Saturday's blast comes a week after a auto bomb attack claimed by Kurdish militants killed 44 people, mainly riot police, and wounded over 150 others near a soccer stadium in Istanbul.

That attack, which targeted a police bus, was claimed by the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) seen as a radical offshoot of the PKK. Over 20 suspects were also arrested for social media posts over Saturday night's terror attack in Istanbul, anti-terror police said.

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Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the suicide bomber ambushed a commando brigade on weekend leave in the city of Kayseri.

The bus was owned by the municipal transport authorities in Kayersi but was transporting the soldiers who had taken permission to go to a local market for the day, the Dogan news agency said.

Last week dual explosions in Istanbul killed 44 individuals.

Turkey is facing a wide range of security challenges including renewed conflict in the predominantly Kurdish southeast. Turkey views these groups as extensions of the PKK. A failed coup attempt in July has been followed by a wave of domestic turmoil as the government has pursued a broad crackdown on its enemies, including those accused of backing the coup as well as political opponents.

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