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15 detained in connection to Kayseri car bomb attack

This picture obtained from the Ihlas News Agency shows a police officer and people walking next to the wreck of public bus following an explosion on December 17, 2016 in Kayseri, central Turkey. Several people were wounded on December 17 in a car bombing close to the public bus in the central Turkish city of Kayseri, television reports said. The Dogan news agency said that the blast took place opposite the Erciyes University in the city. NTV television said there could be fatalities as a result of the blast. The state-run Anadolu news agency said that the bus was owned by the municipal transport authorities in Kayersi but was transporting Turkish soldiers who had taken permission to go to a local market for the day. IHLAS NEWS AGENCY / AFP

One of the prosecutors investigating Saturday’s car bomb attack in Kayseri that claimed the lives of 14 soldiers and injured 55 others, including civilians, has said that 15 suspects have been detained in connection to the terrorist attack.

The Kayseri Prosecutor’s Office appointed eight prosecutors to investigate the attack. The statement on the recent detentions was made by the chief of the prosecutorial team, Mustafa Arslantürk.

On Saturday, Deputy Prime Minister and Justice and Development Party (AKP) government spokesperson Numan Kurtulmuş blamed the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) for the bomb attack in the central province of Kayseri.

The attack targeted a bus carrying off-duty soldiers and civilians on Saturday morning in Kayseri.

The explosion occurred just as the bus drove past a car carrying explosives. The bomb exploded at an entrance to Erciyes University.

“All signs point to the PKK,” Kurtulmuş told NTV on Saturday afternoon.

He said the attack was very similar to twin bomb attacks in İstanbul last Saturday that claimed the lives of 44 people and injured 166 others.

The Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), an offshoot of the PKK, on Sunday claimed responsibility for the twin bombings in İstanbul.

Turkish authorities had conducted direct talks with jailed PKK chief Abdullah Öcalan for several years until a truce in effect collapsed in the summer of 2015. Since then, there have been heavy clashes between the PKK and Turkish security forces.

More than 40,000 people, including 5,500 security force members, have been killed in four decades of fighting between the Turkish state and the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU.

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