Fourteen soldiers killed as ‘Kurdish terror’ strikes Turkey; KSA condemns attack
ARAB NEWS - Sun, Dec 18th 2016 3:00 AM
Fourteen soldiers killed as ‘Kurdish terror’ strikes Turkey; KSA condemns attack
JEDDAH/ISTANBUL: Fourteen Turkish soldiers were killed and dozens more wounded Saturday in a suicide car bombing blamed on Kurdish militants targeting off-duty conscripts, the latest in a string of attacks to rock Turkey in recent months.
Saudi Arabia strongly condemned the attack, an official at the Foreign Ministry said.
The source reiterated Kingdom’s support and solidarity with Turkey against terrorism, offering condolences to the victims’ families, the government and Turkish people, wishing the injured a speedy recovery.
The Turkish government said all signs so far suggested the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) was behind the bombing in the city of Kayseri, a usually calm industrial hub in the heart of Anatolia.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said 56 people were wounded, half a dozen of them seriously. The death toll rose from 13 to 14 after one more soldier died in hospital, the official Anadolu news agency said.
Television pictures showed the bus reduced to a smoldering wreck by the blast, which came a week after 44 people were killed in a double bombing in Istanbul after a football match hosted by the top side Besiktas.
That attack, which targeted a police bus, was claimed by the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) seen as a radical offshoot of the PKK. No claim has come so far for the Kayseri bombing.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the “acts of terror” in Turkey were “aiming at all 79 million of our citizens together with our soldiers and police.”
“We will fight decisively against these terror organizations in the spirit of a national mobilization,” he said.
“All indications at present point to the PKK,” Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesman Numan Kurtulmus told NTV television.
He said that the materials used in the bombing were similar to those used in the Istanbul attack last week.
“You don’t just buy these at the shopping mall... there is logistical support,” he said. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the attack was carried out by a “suicide bomber,” without giving further details.
Fifteen suspects have already been detained over alleged involvement in the plot, Kayseri state prosecutor Mustafa Arslanturk was quoted as saying by Anadolu.
The bus — carrying low-ranking privates and non-commissioned officers — was attacked after leaving the commando headquarters to take the off-duty soldiers on a shopping trip.
Those killed were in their early 20s, reports said.
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