Turkish Deputy PM: Istanbul Attack Caused by 28-Year-Old Syrian

Blast at Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet district, which is popular with tourists, has killed 10 & injured 15 people.

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Medics and security members with injured people lying on the ground after an explosion at Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet district, which is popular with tourists, on Tuesday, 12 January 2016. (Photo: AP)

An explosion at Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet district, which is popular with tourists, has killed 10 and injured 15 people on Tuesday, Reuters reports said.

The cause of the explosion was not immediately known.

TV news channel Al Arabiya said the blast may have been caused by a suicide bomber, but this was not independently confirmed.

NTV, a private television channel, said the explosion was close to a park that is home to a landmark obelisk. The state-run Anadolu Agency says several police and medics were sent to the area.

Police sealed the area, barring people from approaching in case of a second explosion.

The Sultanahmet neighborhood is Istanbul’s main sight-seeing area and includes the Topkapi Palace and Blue Mosque.

Turkey suffered two major bombing attacks last year.

More than 30 people were killed in an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) suicide attack in the town of Suruc, near Turkey’s border with Syria, in July.

Two suicide bombings in October outside Ankara’s main train station as people gathered for a peace rally killed more than 100 people. It was Turkey’s deadliest attack. The prosecutor’s office said the attack was carried out by a local ISIS cell.

Policemen install security barriers at the historic Sultanahmet district, which is popular with tourists, after an explosion in Istanbul, Tuesday, January 12, 2016. (Photo: AP)
Policemen install security barriers at the historic Sultanahmet district, which is popular with tourists, after an explosion in Istanbul, Tuesday, January 12, 2016. (Photo: AP)

In a speech that was broadcast live on Television, Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said:

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 and 15 others who are wounded.

Numan Kurtulmus, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister told a news conference on Tuesday that most of the 10 people killed in a suspected suicide bombing in the heart of Istanbul’s historic tourist district were foreigners.

He also said the suspected suicide bomber had been identified from body parts as a 28 year old Syrian national, born in 1988, and that his links were being investigated.

(With agency inputs.)

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