Istanbul bomb blast – A suicide bomber blew himself killing 10 foreigners, majority of them German tourists, in Sultanahmet district.
The explosion occurred at about 10am local time on Tuesday morning and ambulances rushed to the site to help the wounded. According to media reports, at least 15 were injured including two in critical condition. The bomber was linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) group.
The attacker targeted the historic square in the country’s economic center. The square, including the centuries old Sultan Ahmet Mosque and the 6th-century Greek Orthodox church, is the most popular site among the tourists visiting Istanbul.
Minutes after the tragedy, local police cordoned off the area to protect people from the possibility of a second bomb blast. The security personnel conducted searches outside the cordoned off area in case a second bomber was involved while the investigators flocked to the site of attack to gather evidence in order to find the culprits.
The Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu expressed his condolences to Chancellor Angela Merkel via a telephonic conversation. The details of ongoing investigation regarding the suicide attack will be shared with German officials, according to sources in Davutoglu’s office.
Prime Minister has called an emergency security meeting of key ministers and officials following the incident. Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s President, condemned the attack and asked the border security forces to halt the potential threat in order to avoid such atrocities.
The incident came a year after a female suicide bomber detonated at a police station for tourists off the same square, killing one officer and wounding another. Turkey has become a target for Islamist extremists as Turkish warplanes have been actively carrying out airstrikes against ISIL in Syria. IMAGE/AP