Explosion in central Istanbul kills at least 10, injures 15

Explosion leaves ten dead and 15 injured at the major tourist attraction of Sultanahmet square in Istanbul

An explosion in the heart of Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet tourist district killed at least 10 people and wounded 15 on Tuesday and some local media reports said a suicide bomber may have been responsible.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says a Syria-linked suicide bomber is believed to be behind the blast in Istanbul. Erdogan said in televised remarks on Tuesday that both Turks and foreigners are among the dead. He did not provide details.

“Turkey’s determined position will not change. We don’t make any difference between the names or abbreviations (of terror groups)” Erdogan adds.

“The first target of all the terror groups active in this region is Turkey. Because Turkey fights them all with the same determination.”

The Istanbul governor’s office said the explosion killed at least 10 people and injured 15 others. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed it on a suicide bomber with links to Syria.

Turkey’s Dogan news agency says at least six Germans, one Norwegian and one Peruvian are among the injured in an explosion in an area of Istanbul popular with tourists.

Norway’s foreign ministry said a Norwegian man was receiving treatment in hospital, while Germany’s foreign ministry said it was investigating the reports.

The ministry has on its website (in German) urged German tourists in the city to avoid large crowds and tourist attractions and warned that further violent clashes and “terrorist attacks” are expected across Turkey.

The European Union says it stands with Turkey in the fight “against all forms of terrorism” after the explosion in the heart of Istanbul.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Tuesday that both sides “must step up our efforts to counter extremist violence” and noted that this had been set as a priority at a November EU-Turkey summit in Brussels.

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About the Author: Akhtar Jamal

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