Kayseri suicide bomber arrived from Kobane in Syria before attack

Kayseri suicide bomber arrived from Kobane in Syria before attack

Fevzi Kızılkoyun – ANKARA
Kayseri suicide bomber arrived from Kobane in Syria before attack

DHA photo

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant who staged a deadly suicide attack in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri on Dec. 17 crossed illegally from the northern Syrian town of Kobane to the Turkish border town of Suruç, according to details that have emerged regarding the attack that claimed 14 lives. 

The bomber who detonated the bomb-laden car stole the vehicle in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa two days before the Kayseri attack and drove it to the Lice district of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır. He later crossed through the Central Anatolian province of Malatya to reach Kayseri. 

According to details of the investigation into the attack, the car was filled with explosives weighing nearly 200 kilograms in Lice. 

The order to carry out the attack was given by the outlawed Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK) cell in the rural Lice district. The suspect identified by the initials E.G., codenamed Azad Sisar, and S.Ç., codenamed Hoca, organized the attack.   

The bomb-laden car arrived in Kayseri at around 12:30 a.m. on Dec. 17 and footage of it refueling in a gas station in the Pınarbaşı district of the province has been obtained. It was driven to the scene of the attack and the militant waited inside the car until around 8 p.m., after which the attacker went to the entrance of the commando headquarters.

According to witness testimonies, the soldiers noticed the car waiting at the entrance and asked why the car was waiting there.

“A relative of mine is a soldier here. I want to pick him up, when do the service buses leave?” the suicide bomber reportedly asked the soldiers in response.  

A map of the commando headquarters and significant sites in the area was found on the suicide bomber, who was codenamed “Çektar” and “Botan.” In addition, a fake driver’s license and ID was found. 

While DNA efforts to reveal his real identity are ongoing, it has been determined that the suicide bomber received military training in Kobane. 

Meanwhile, the driver of the bus carrying the targeted soldiers is among the 15 people detained in the investigation into the attack. The unidentified driver, who was wounded in the attack, testified as a suspect and was sent back to hospital after the procedures. His cell phone conversations are also reportedly being examined in order to ascertain whether he had any contact with the suicide bomber. It is reported that the driver previously attended rallies of the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar visited the wounded soldiers in hospital over the weekend.

The injured soldiers told him that a civilian got onto the bus just before the attack was carried out, even though it was forbidden for civilians to commute on the soldiers’ bus. Akar has ordered the identity of this civilian to be investigated, daily Milliyet reported on Dec. 19.