Thirteen Turkish troops were killed and 48 more were injured when a car bomb hit a bus transporting off-duty military personnel in the in the central Anatolian province of Kayseri on Saturday, the Turkish military reported.
In a statement, the Turkish armed forces said the car bomb attack went off at 8:45 am and targeted on-leave military personnel from the Kayseri Commando Brigade.
The blast took place near the campus of Erciyes University in Kayseri hit as the bus passed by a car believed to be packed with explosives, Turkey’s Dogan news agency said.
No immediate claim of responsibility was claimed, but Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak suggested a link between the bus attack and the twin bombings outside the stadium of Istanbul soccer team Besiktas last Saturday – which were later claimed by an offshoot of the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
“The car bomb attack resembles the Besiktas attack in terms of its style,” he told a group of reporters.
Kaynak added that such attacks would not put Turkey off of its goal of fighting militancy.
Turkey is a member of NATO and partner in the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS terrorist group, which has been blamed for multiple attacks in Turkey.