The number of soldiers killed in a car bomb attack yesterday on a bus carrying off-duty soldiers and civilians had risen to 14 as of Sunday while 55 remain injured in the central Turkish province of Kayseri.
The explosion occurred just as the bus drove past a car carrying explosives. The bomb exploded at an entrance to Erciyes University.
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) confirmed the deaths of 13 soldiers in the attack in a statement on Saturday, while Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said that out of the injured, 12 were in intensive care and six were in critical condition.
Soylu did not say how many of those injured were civilians and soldiers.
“We will be patient, we will eradicate terrorism. I am calling on the entire nation to act with common sense,” he told reporters.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak blamed “treacherous factions” for the outrage, which he said had targeted commandos from the Kayseri Air Force Brigade.
Kaynak said the attack was “unfortunately similar” to last week’s twin bombings outside a football stadium in İstanbul that killed 44 people and wounded 166.
The Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), an offshoot of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), on Sunday claimed responsibility for the twin bombings in İstanbul.
Following the Kayseri explosion, the government urged the media to refrain from publishing anything that may cause “fear in the public, panic and disorder and which may serve the aims of terrorist organizations.”
Turkey faces multiple security threats including spillover from the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in northern Syria, where it is a member of a US-led coalition against the militant group.
It also faces regular attacks from PKK militants, who have been waging a three-decade insurgency for autonomy in largely Kurdish southeastern Turkey.
Following the twin explosions in İstanbul last week, police detained dozens of people in raids across the country, targeting officials from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) over allegations of links to PKK.
Hours later, Turkish warplanes carried out airstrikes against PKK targets in northern Iraq, destroying a headquarters of the militants and surrounding gun positions and shelters, an army statement said.