Thirteen soldiers have been killed and other 56 wounded in a car bomb attack in the city of Kayseri, Turkey.
The explosion destroyed a bus carrying soldiers visiting a local market in the city. An army spokesman said civilians may also have been injured.
No group has admitted carrying out the attack, but Turkish officials say it bears the hallmarks of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
The new attack comes a week after 44 people were killed in a PKK attack in Istanbul.
Image source EPA
Regional governor Suleyman Kamci said the explosion in Kayseri, a usually calm industrial hub in Central Anatolia, was carried out by a suicide bomber parked next to the bus near the entrance to Erciyes University. The soldiers were said to be on leave from a nearby military base.
Seven people have been arrested in connection with the attack.
Images from the scene showed the bus reduced to a smoldering wreck with a massive hole punched in one side.
Turkey’s Deputy PM Numan Kurtulmu said the materials used were similar to those used in Istanbul.
“All indications at present point to the PKK,” he said.
President Tayyip Erdogan said that Kurdish militants were attempting to “trip up Turkey, cut its strength and have it focus its energy and forces elsewhere”.
The country has suffered a series of fatal bombings in 2016 at the hands of both the Kurdish militants and jihadists.
Following the car bomb attack, a crowd stormed the Kayseri offices of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), parliament’s second-largest opposition party.
The HDP condemned Kayseri blast and called for an end to “the politics, tone and language that creates tension, polarization, hostility, chaos and conflict”.
The government imposed a temporary black-out on media coverage in the wake of the Kayseri blast.
According to the Associated Press, an instruction from the prime minister’s office 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”.
At least 54 people have been killed and many others injured in a series of car bomb attacks in Iraqi cities Baghdad, Basra and Samarra, officials say.
Baghdad was worst hit, with nine explosions at bus stations and markets in the mainly Shia Muslim districts.
Two bombs went off earlier in the day in the southern city of Basra, and a blast in Samarra killed three people.
The attacks are part of the recent rise in violence in Iraq linked to growing political and sectarian tension.
Police said nearly 200 people were injured in Monday’s violence in Iraq. Eight Iranian pilgrims are reported to be among the dead.
One of the bloodiest attacks in Baghdad happened in the northern Shia neighborhood of Shaab, when a car bomb exploded near a crowded market place killing at least 12 people and wounding more than 20.
The bombs in Basra, a mainly Shia Muslim city, killed at least 14 outside a restaurant and the main bus station.
“We were sitting here waiting for work and as usual we gathered near a street food cart and the place was very crowded,” Basra resident Mohammed Ali, who was near one of the blasts, told Reuters news agency.
“I crossed the street to the other side when all of a sudden it turned dark, dust filled the area. I was showered with metal wreckage and wounded in my legs.”
At least 54 people have been killed and many others injured in a series of car bomb attacks in Iraqi cities Baghdad, Basra and Samarra
A further three people were killed and 15 wounded in a car bomb attack in Samarra, a city some 70 miles north of Baghdad. The blast reportedly happened near a gathering of members of the pro-government Sunni militia, the Awakening Council.
In a separate incident, 10 policemen kidnapped on Saturday in western Anbar province have been found dead.
No group has said it carried out Monday’s bomb attacks, but tension between the Shia Muslim majority, which leads the government, and minority Sunnis has been growing since last year.
Sunni demonstrators have accused the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of discriminating against them – something the government denies.
Iraqis have not witnessed violence on the scale of the last few weeks for nearly five years.
The Shia-Sunni fault line, with Syria currently at its epicentre, is certainly contributing.
But Iraqis do not see their own politicians doing enough to unite people on both sides of the sectarian divide, and they do not see the international community showing the urgency they think it should in averting further chaos.
Violence has increased since more than 50 people died in clashes between security forces and Sunni Arabs in April, when an anti-government protest camp was raided in Nawija near Kirkuk.
At least 60 people died in three bombings in Sunni Muslim areas in and around Baghdad on Friday. Those bombings followed deadly attacks on Shia targets across Iraq.
On Sunday, at least 10 policemen were reported killed in north-western Iraq in attacks blamed by the authorities on Sunni militants.
Basra had been seen as relatively peaceful, but there too, violence has risen in recent months.
In March, a car bomb in the city killed 10 and wounded many others. On Saturday gunmen there shot and killed a Sunni Muslim cleric.
The increasing number of incidents has raised fears that Iraq could return to the worst of the sectarian conflict seen in 2006 and 2007.
Anti-Syrian politicians in Lebanon have accused Damascus of being behind a car bomb attack that killed the head of Lebanon’s internal intelligence in Beirut.
Opposition leader Saad Hariri and Druze leader Walid Jumblatt both said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was behind the bombing in Beirut. A Syrian minister condemned the blast.
Saad Hariri’s coalition called on the government to resign.
Friday’s blast left eight people dead and wounded dozens.
It occurred in the mainly Christian district of Ashrafiya, in a busy street close to the headquarters of Saad Hariri’s 14 March coalition.
Internal intelligence head Wissam al-Hassan was among those who died. He was close to Saad Hariri, a leading critic of the government in neighboring Syria.
Wissam al-Hassan led an investigation that implicated Damascus in the 2005 bombing that killed Saad Hariri’s father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
He also recently organized the arrest of a former minister accused of planning a Syrian-sponsored bombing campaign in Lebanon.
Lebanon’s religious communities are divided between those who support the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – including many Shias – and those mostly from the Sunni community who back the rebels.
Tension in Lebanon has been rising as a result of the Syrian conflict.
“We accuse Bashar al-Assad of the assassination of Wissam al-Hassam, the guarantor of the security of the Lebanese,” Saad Hariri said on Lebanese TV.
Walid Jumblatt told satellite channel Al-Arabiya: “[Bashar al-Assad] is telling us that even though he turned Syria into rubble, <<I am ready to kill in any place>>.”
Nadim Gemayel, an MP from the right-wing Christian Phalange Party, also pointed to Syria, where an uprising against Bashar al-Assad that began 18 months ago has led to an increasingly violent conflict.
“This regime, which is crumbling, is trying to export its conflict to Lebanon,” he said.
Saad Hariri’s 14 March bloc issued a statement accusing the Beirut government of protecting “criminals” and calling on it to stand down.
Anti-Syrian protesters burned tires during demonstrations in Beirut and Tripoli late on Friday.
The force of Friday’s blast, the worst in the Lebanese capital for four years, ripped balconies from the fronts of buildings and set many cars on fire. For many, it evoked scenes from Lebanon’s civil war in the late 1970s and 1980s.
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said the government was trying to identify the perpetrators and they would be punished.
Lebanon’s Shia militant group Hezbollah – a close ally of the Syrian government – condemned the bombing.
Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi called it a “cowardly, terrorist act”. He said such incidents were “unjustifiable wherever they occur”.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on “all Lebanese parties not to be provoked by this heinous terrorist act”, while EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton called on “all Lebanese to remain calm”.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the bombing a “dangerous sign that there are those who continue to seek to undermine Lebanon’s stability.”
“Lebanon must close the chapter of its past and bring an end to impunity for political assassinations and other politically motivated violence,” she said.
At least 15 people have been killed and up to 30 wounded in a car bomb attack on a market in the town of Darra Adam Khel, north-west Pakistan, local security officials say.
Some reports said a suicide attacker detonated the bomb in the town of Darra Adam Khel near the Khyber tribal area.
It was apparently aimed at a pro-government militia set up to fight the Taliban, local security officials said.
Some of the wounded were being taken to hospitals in other towns, because local facilities could not cope.
Some were being taken to Peshawar, about half-an-hour’s drive to the north.
Officials said no group had claimed responsibility for the bombing, but previous attacks in the area have been blamed on the Taliban.
President Asif Ali Zardari strongly condemned the blast. In a condolence message he said the incident showed that extremists had no regard for human life.
The blast occurred outside the office of the local “peace committee” – a group of militants who used to fight with the Taliban but switched sides and now support local elders and the government.
At least 20 nearby shops were also badly damaged in the explosion, Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported.
It was not immediately clear how many of the victims were members of the peace committee and how many were local people going about their shopping on a Saturday morning, local government official Fakhar-ud-Din told the AFP news agency.
Darra Adam Khel is a small town on the edge of the ethnic Pashtun tribal belt along the border with Afghanistan.
The government has fought a long campaign to bring the region, which is a haven for militant groups, under its control.
Darra Adam Khel has been a centre for arms trading, with locally made weapons on sale openly at stalls in the town.
A suicide bomb attack on a mosque in the town two years ago killed more than 70 people.
Prayers were held in schools across Pakistan on Saturday for a young victim of the Taliban, 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai, who was shot this week in the Swat Valley.
The girl, who had campaigned for the right to an education, was picked out by name by an armed man on a bus, and shot in the head.
A military spokesman said she was still on a ventilator in hospital on Saturday and that the next 36 to 48 hours would be critical.
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