Suicide bombing in Istanbul’s Beyoglu kills five, wounds 39

Suicide bombing in Istanbul’s Beyoglu District kills five people, injures 39 others

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Police secure the area following a suicide bombing in Istanbul’s Beyoglu district March 19, 2016.

Updated Mar 20, 2016

A suicide bombing in Istanbul's Beyoglu district killed five people including the bomber himself and injured 39 others, Istanbul governorate said on Saturday.

Of the 39 wounded, seven people are in serious condition.

Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s office announced that five prosecutors are appointed to investigate the attack which took place at approximately 10:55 am. 

An official, who declined to be named because the investigation is ongoing, said the bomber had planned to hit a more crowded spot.

"The attacker detonated the bomb before reaching the targeted point because he was scared of the police," the official said.

The attack came days after a car bomb exploded in Ankara's Kizilay district, killing at least 37 people and injuring 125 others. TAK, which is affiliated with PKK terrorist organisation, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Turkish Health Minister, Mehmet Muezzinoglu, condemned the attack during a news conference, stating that Turkey will continue its operations against terrorism.

Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin stated that there are 24 foreign nationals among the 39 injured in the attack.

Reports say that all of the victims were foreigners. They were identified as Israeli citizens Simha Siman Demri, Yonathan Suher, Avraham Godman and Iranian Ali Rıza Khalman.

Ireland also said "a number" of Irish were hurt, while broadcaster NTV said two Icelandic citizens were also injured.

White House National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said that two American citizens were also amoung those who died.

"We are in close touch with Turkish authorities and reaffirm our commitment to work together with Turkey to confront the evil of terrorism," he said in a statement.

Speaking after the blast, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Numan Kurtulmus, stated that “Turkey will never get used to terror attacks and never take a step back in its anti-terror operations.”

Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, also said that the country’s fight against terrorism will continue with full force, during a joint news conference in Istanbul with his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif, who is on an official visit to Turkey.

Zarif said that he condemns the “terrorist attack in Istanbul that displays [an] ugly face of terrorism.”

Turkey started its anti-terror operations across the country last year after PKK - which is recognised as a terrorist organisation by the US and the EU as well as Turkey - renewed its armed campaign, ending a two-year ceasefire with the Turkish government.

Since then, more than 300 soldiers, police and civilians have died in PKK terror attacks while at least 1,250 terrorists were killed across the country.

French Foreign Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, also said that France stands in solidarity with Turkey condemning the attack.

"I strongly condemn this despicable and cowardly act that has caused the death of several people," Ayrault said.

TRTWorld and agencies