German tourists killed, wounded in suicide bomb attack

By Sarah Harvey

Police secure the area after an explosion in central Istanbul. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
Police secure the area after an explosion in central Istanbul. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

Ten people are dead and 15 are wounded, most of them German tourists, after a suicide bomb attack in a heavily populated square in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

The suicide bomber, who targeted a square in the Sultanahmet district, an area usually crowded with tourists a stone’s throw away from the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, was thought to be aligned to Islamic State.

“We have determined that the perpetrator of the attack is a foreigner who is a member of Daesh,” Turkish Prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said.

“Turkey won’t backtrack in its struggle against Daesh by even one step … This terror organisation, the assailants and all of their connections will be found and they will receive the punishments they deserve.”

Germany sent out an urgent warning to its citizens urging them to avoid public gatherings and monuments in Istanbul and Turkey as a whole.

The attack was the latest in a spate of bombings that have rocked Turkey in recent months as the fallout from the civil war in neighbouring Syria boils over.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said in a televised speech: “I condemn the terror incident in Istanbul, assessed to be an attack by a suicide bomber with Syrian origin. Unfortunately we have 10 dead, including foreigners and Turkish nationals … There are also 15 wounded.”

 

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