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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

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 11 people have been killed after a car bomb targeted a police bus in central Istanbul, Turkish officials say.

The explosives were remotely detonated as the vehicle passed through the busy Vezneciler district at the morning rush hour, reports said.

Four civilians and seven police officers were among the dead, Istanbul’s governor, Vasip Sahin, said. Some 36 other people were injured, he added.

No group has said it carried out the attack.

Photo Reuters

Photo Reuters

Turkey violence has escalated recently as a result of tensions with Kurdish separatists and the conflict in neighboring Syria.

The explosion happened near the city’s historic Beyazit Square neighborhood, a major tourist attraction.

Pictures showed the wreckage of a bus destroyed and the facade of nearby buildings damaged. Armed police were also seen next to the site.

Reports said gunfire was heard in the area after the blast.

ISIS and Kurdish militants have both carried out bloody attacks in Turkey in recent months.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said terror groups are targeting civilians because they are losing their struggle against Turkish security forces.

Turkey is part of the US-led coalition against ISIS and allows coalition planes to use its air base at Incirlik for raids on Iraq and Syria.

A two-year-old ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurdish militant PKK broke down last summer.

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

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.

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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.

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A car bomb blast has killed at least two people in the centre of Beirut, Lebanese security sources say.

About 15 people are also reported to have been wounded in the explosion in Sassine Square, a busy part of Beirut’s eastern Ashrafiya district.

Ambulances have been seen rushing to the square. Witnesses say the blast was heard several kilometres away.

The intended target is unclear. Tensions in Lebanon have been rising as a result of the conflict in Syria.

Friday’s attack is the first major car bomb attack in Beirut for four years.

It occurred near the headquarters of the Kataeb, better known as the Phalange, a Maronite Christian group.

Ashrafiya is a predominantly Christian district.

Several cars were set on fire as a result of the blast. TV footage showed considerable damage to of buildings.

A nearby hospital is calling for people to donate blood to help treat the wounded.

 

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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The fourth day of Norway’s trial of the century begins with Anders Behring Breivik telling the court he originally planned to detonate three car bombs.

The sole car bomb Anders Breivik did set off killed eight people in Oslo. The mass killer said he decided against multiple bombs because building them was “more difficult than [he] had thought”.

Anders Breivik disputed a psychiatrist’s report describing him as insane.

Earlier, he told the court he took a year off to play World of Warcraft.

Anders Breivik described using computer games to rehearse scenarios before setting off the car bomb outside a government building in the Norwegian capital on 22 July 2011.

He said his initial targets for the three bombs were government headquarters, Labour Party offices and the royal castle, but not the royal family itself.

The fourth day of Norway’s trial of the century begins with Anders Behring Breivik telling the court he originally planned to detonate three car bombs

The fourth day of Norway’s trial of the century begins with Anders Behring Breivik telling the court he originally planned to detonate three car bombs

Anders Breivik followed his car bomb attack with a mass shooting at a Labour Party summer camp on Utoeya island, killing 69 people, many of them teenagers.

He told prosecutors he came up with idea of targeting Utoeya when it became clear that it was impossible to make more than one bomb.

Anders Breivik said he decided to choose one target for a bomb and one “based on a firing operation”.

He also considered a congress of journalists and the Labour Party summer conference.

Anders Breivik described how he joined a gun club in 2010 as part of his preparations.

He told the court he had begun planning a “suicide action” as far back as 2006.

He had expected he would have to fight his way out of the scene of the bombing and estimated his chance of survival at 5%, he said.

However, the prosecution asserted Anders Breivik began preparing his attacks no earlier than 2009.

Arriving in court, Anders Breivik made no far-right salute, unlike previous days. His lawyers had asked him not to salute.

He is behaving differently from his irritable performance on Wednesday: he is answering most of the questions put to him and seems calm.

Anders Breivik has admitted the killings but denies criminal responsibility, saying he acted to protect Norway and Europe from multiculturalism.

“Militant nationalists in Europe are divided,” Anders Breivik told the court on Thursday.

“Half of them think we should attack Muslims and minorities, the other half that we should attack elites, those responsible, and hold them accountable.”

In other points so far, Anders Breivik said:

• he was 15 when he became skeptical of Muslim immigration, and 18 or 19 when he first thought about committing violence

• he named his manifesto 2083 to represent the 400th anniversary of the Battle of Vienna, when the Ottoman Turks were defeated

• he named the guns he used in the Utoeya shootings after characters in Norse mythology

• he joined the Masons as soon as he was old enough because they were a “Christian organization that protects its members”

• he took a year’s “sabbatical” from business activities in 2006 because he was planning the “suicide action”

• he spent the year playing the online role-play game, World of Warcraft, for up to 16 hours a day

The court heard that Anders Breivik formed a company in the Bahamas that he used as a front for money-laundering. The funds were intended for nationalist activities.

The court is seeking to determine whether Anders Breivik is sane. If so, he will be jailed for at least 21 years, although that sentence can be extended by the courts.

If he is deemed insane, he will be committed to a psychiatric institution.

Survivor Bjorn Ihler, who was on Utoeya island when Anders Breivik went on his shooting spree, said it was getting “easier and easier” to see him in the dock.

“All the things he did and said disarms him in so many ways… he gets less and less dangerous in my mind,” Bjorn Ihler said.

Anders Breivik’s evidence is scheduled to last five days, concluding on Monday.

 

Two civilians and at least five police officers have died in a car bomb attack on police headquarters in the city of Kandahar, southern Afghanistan.

Other 19 people were wounded in the blast in a car park outside the police building, the local government said.

The blast – thought to have been caused by explosives hidden inside a parked car and detonated remotely – was strong enough to shatter nearby windows.

No-one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Two civilians and at least five police officers have died in a car bomb attack on police headquarters in the city of Kandahar, southern Afghanistan

Two civilians and at least five police officers have died in a car bomb attack on police headquarters in the city of Kandahar, southern Afghanistan

Kandahar is the largest city in southern Afghanistan and the province is considered to be the spiritual homeland of the Taliban.

Militants frequently launch attacks against government and military targets in the province, despite intensive efforts by NATO-led forces in recent years to improve security there.

The United Nations said on Saturday that civilian deaths in Afghanistan had risen for the fifth year in a row – with 3,021 deaths in 2011 compared with 2,790 in 2010 and 2,412 in 2009.