ISTANBUL: A Syrian suicide bomber is thought to have been responsible for an explosion in the heart of Istanbul´s historic tourist district on Tuesday which killed 10 people including Turks and foreigners, President Tayyip Erdogan said.
“I condemn the terror incident in Istanbul assessed to be an attack by a suicide bomber with Syrian origin. Unfortunately we have 10 dead including foreigners and Turkish nationals… There are also 15 wounded,” Erdogan told a lunch for Turkish ambassadors in Ankara, in a speech broadcast live on television.
The attack at the heart of one of the world’s most visited cities comes as NATO member Turkey plays a role in the US-led coalition against Islamic State (Daesh) in Syria and Iraq, and as it battles Kurdish militants in its southeast.
Several bodies lay on the ground in the Sultanahmet square, close to the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, a major tourist area of Turkey’s most populous city.
A police officer and witness at the scene reported also seeing several bodies and body parts.
Earlier, the Istanbul governor’s office said the authorities were investigating the type of explosive used and who might have been responsible for the attack. It said ten people were killed and 15 wounded but gave no further details.