Terror attack kills 10 and wounds 15 in Istanbul

Turkish authorities say Syrian citizen responsible for suicide attack in Istanbul's Sultanahmet Square

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Turkish police stand next to ambulances as they block access to the Blue Mosque area on January 12, 2016 after a blast in Istanbul's tourist hub of Sultanahmet left 10 people dead

Updated Jan 13, 2016

Turkish authorities have stated that a 28-year-old Syrian citizen is responsible for the recent suicide attack in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet Square, which was confirmed to have killed at least 10 people and wounded 15. 

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus announced during a press conference in Ankara on Tuesday afternoon that the attack was carried out by a Syrian citizen who was born in 1988 according to a Turkish investigation. 

Most of the dead have been foreign tourists, Kurtulmus stated. 

Turkish media accounts have additionally claimed the suicide bomber was born in Saudi Arabia and his name was Nabil Fadli.

Following the incident several ambulances as well as police officials rushed to the scene of the explosion in Sultanahmet Square, close to the Sultan Ahmet (Blue) Mosque and Hagia Sophia museum, which is a major tourist destination in Turkey's most populous city.  

Shop owner Sener Ozdemir, 45, said he heard the blast.

"I’ve never heard such a loud explosion in my life,” he told Anadolu Agency. “It was very violent. Just after the incident I saw shocked tourists falling to the ground.” 

Police cordoned off the square and closed down the local tram service while nearby attractions were also closed down by security authorities who have taken extensive security measures in the area.

The area, on the European side of Istanbul, is home to the city’s most popular tourist sites and contains hundreds of hotels and restaurants. The square, which is dotted with gardens, fountains and benches, is usually busy with tourists throughout the day.

Turkey has recently faced violent attacks by various groups including the PKK, DHKP-C and DAESH terrorist organisations.

The PKK renewed its terror campaign in Turkey's southeast and eastern regions after the group ended its unilateral ceasefire in July 2015.

In addition, there have been several terror attacks linked to DAESH in Turkey.

In October 2015, 103 people were killed in a twin suicide bomb attack in Turkey's capital Ankara while in another attack 34 people were killed in a blast in the Suruc district of Turkey's southeastern Sanliurfa Province, which borders Syria, on July 20, 2015.

TRTWorld and agencies