Terror attack martyrs 13 soldiers in central Turkey
56 others also wounded in 'suicide' attack targeting public bus in Kayseri province
By Ferdi Turkten, Ilhan Toprak and Tuba Karahan
Thirteen soldiers were martyred and 56 others wounded when a suicide car bomb attack targeted a public bus in central Kayseri province on Saturday, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said.
In remarks made to the media in Kayseri city, Soylu said seven suspects had been held in connection with the attack, while the search for five others continues.
Out of the 56 injured, "12 are in intensive care while four remain in critical condition,” he said.
Earlier, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement a car bomb targeted a public bus carrying off-duty troops near the Erciyes University campus at 8.45 a.m. local time (0545 GMT).
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim later told journalists in Kahramanmaras province the Kayseri blast was "a suicide bomb attack”.
"These incidents cannot weaken our struggle rather it increases our determination," Yildirim said.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also condemned the terror attack. In remarks made in Turkish on his official Twitter account, Cavusoglu offered his condolences to the families of the martyrs and wished the injured a speedy recovery.
Also, Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar told Anadolu Agency: “Turkish army is determined to combat terrorists until the last terrorist is neutralised, ”
Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak compared the incident to the Dec.10 twin bombings in Istanbul, which killed 44 people, including several police officers.
The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, also phoned the prime minister and offered his condolences over the attack.
An investigation into the attack remains underway.
Turkey's Supreme Board of Radio and Television imposed a temporary ban on media coverage of Kayseri blast, which includes a live broadcast from the scene, footage taken from the time of the blast and afterwards, and images of bodies, the agency said in a statement.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.