Four people lost their lives when a suicide bomber hit a busy street in Istanbul.
The bomber targeted the main shopping street of the city which has cafes, shops and restaurants. It is also lined with foreign consulates.
The bomb was detonated outside a government office within the European side of Istanbul. Parts of the street are sealed off by the authorities. Taskim Square – Istanbul’s popular public spot is also adjacent to the street where the blast occurred. Forensic experts are looking for clues.
According to eyewitness accounts, police helicopters were constantly hovering overhead. People could also be seen running away from the spot where the blast had occurred.
The governor, Vasip Sahin stated that it was a suicide bomber who carried out the attack. He also confirmed that the attacker was also killed in the blast.
The health ministry reported that more than 30 people had been injured. Seven of the wounded were in serious condition. Twelve foreigners – including Israeli citizens – were also among the people who had been wounded in the blast.
No one has a yet claimed responsibility for the blast. Turkish officials are saying that it could be the work of either the Islamic State or the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party).
The police also said that the bomber had another specific target in mind but he was deterred by law enforcement officials and detonated his bomb prematurely out of fear of being apprehended.
Turley has recently seen two suicide bombings in Ankara. The last one was carried out during the beginning of the month which resulted in 37 deaths. Another bombing that occurred in February claimed 29 lives.
The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons or TAK claimed responsibility for both the attacks. The TAK is a relatively unknown Kurdish militant group. It is believed that the TAK is an off-shoot of the more popular Kurdistan Worker’s Party.
Major cities in Turkey have been attacked since July last year. The country was on high alert during the Kurdish celebrations of the New Year.
The TAK maintains that it has carried out bombings in Turkish cities in order to avenge all the Kurds who have been killed by the Turkish government in its ongoing military campaign against the PKK.