Car bomb in Turkey's Kayseri city kills 13 soldiers

The public bus was carrying civilians and off-duty military personnel when it was targetted by a car bomb near Erciyes University in Kayseri.

Photo by: Anadolu Agency
Photo by: Anadolu Agency

The blast took place near a bus stop at the campus of Erciyes University in Kayseri city.

At least 13 military personnel were killed and 55 others wounded in car bomb attack on Saturday in Turkey's central Kayseri city, according to the Turkish military and interior minister. 

A total of 55 people were being treated in hospital, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said. Soylu, who was speaking at a joint news conference with the health minister, said that 12 of the wounded were in intensive care and six were in critical condition.

The interior minister later said that seven suspects had been detained in relation to the bus attack.

A statement by the Turkish military had earlier said that 13 soldiers were killed and 48 others wounded in the attack. It further said that civilians may have also been wounded in the attack.

The bus — carrying low-ranking privates and non-commissioned officers — was attacked after leaving the commando headquarters in the city, the military statement said.

Rescue service members work at the scene of a car bomb attack in central Anatolian city of Kayseri, Turkey, Saturday, December 17, 2016. (AP)

Local media reported that the bus was hit by an explosion as it passed by a vehicle packed with explosives. Television pictures showed that the bus had been reduced to a smouldering wreck by the impact of the blast.

The public bus was carrying civilians and off-duty military personnel when it was targetted by a car bomb near Erciyes University in Kayseri wounding some people, according to Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak.

In a statement, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the PKK "separatist terrorist organisation" was responsible for the attack, adding that such attacks were not independent of developments in Iraq and Syria.

The PKK is recognised as a terrorist organisation by the EU, the US, and Turkey. The PKK-affiliated TAK group has claimed recent attacks in Turkey's urban areas including twin bombings outside the Besiktas football stadium in central Istanbul last week.

In an interview with a private news channel, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said that the materials used in the car bomb attack were similar to those used in last week's twin bombing in Istanbul.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan in a telegram that Moscow was ready to increase cooperation against terrorism, Russian news agencies reported.

Putin also expressed his condolences to Erdogan over the bomb attack in Kayseri and said he was sure the response to such attacks should be a more resolute struggle against extremist groups.

TRTWorld and agencies