Breaking news

Several dead in Istanbul blast near Hagia Sophia

12/01/2016 Top Stories , World
Several dead in Istanbul blast near Hagia Sophia

Turkey has also been hit by bomb attacks blamed by prosecutors on the so-called Islamic State group

A suicide bomber thought to be from Syria killed at least 10 people, many of them German tourists, in Istanbul’s historic heart on Tuesday, an attack senior security officials said was probably planned by Islamic State.

President Tayyip Erdogan condemned the bombing in Sultanahmet square, near the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, major tourist sites in the center of one of the world’s most visited cities. He said a Syrian was thought responsible and that the blast would only harden Turkey’s resolve in fighting terrorism.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said the bomber had been identified from body parts at the scene, and was a Syrian national born in 1988 whose links were being investigated.

Merkel very worried

Sources in Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s office said most of those killed were Germans and he had spoken by phone with Chancellor Angela Merkel to express condolences. Merkel earlier said she was very worried Germans might be among the victims.

Several bodies lay on the ground in the square, also known as the Hippodrome of Constantinople, in the immediate aftermath. It was not densely packed at the time of the explosion, according to a police officer working there, but small groups of tourists had been wandering around.

This incident has once again shown that as a nation we should act as one heart, one body in the fight against terror. Turkey’s determined and principled stance in the fight against terrorism will continue to the end,” Erdogan told a lunch for Turkish ambassadors, in a speech broadcast live on television.

Islamic State militants

Norway’s foreign ministry said one Norwegian man was injured and was being treated in hospital. The Dogan news agency said nine Germans and one Peruvian were also wounded.

Two senior security officials told Reuters there was a high probability that Islamic State militants were responsible.

Turkey, a NATO member and candidate for accession to the European Union, is part of a U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State fighters who have seized territory in neighboring Syria and Iraq, some of it directly abutting Turkey.

Past attacks

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Islamist, leftist and Kurdish militants, who are battling Ankara in southeast Turkey, have all carried out attacks in the past.

The Istanbul governor’s office said the authorities were investigating the type of explosive used and who might have been responsible.

Two suicide blasts in the capital Ankara in October killed more than 100 people and more than 30 people were killed in an attack near the border with Syria in July.


READ MORE HERE: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations , Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism reports, Patmos vacations, Patmos island, Patmos news, Patmos Hotels, Patmos Villas, Patmos stay, Patmos luxury, Patmos transportation, Patmos fly to, Patmos ferries

Related articles


No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply