Conflicts & War

Suspect in Istanbul blast arrested

Istanbul, Nov 14 (EFE).- A person was arrested on suspicion of planting a bomb that exploded in a busy street in central Istanbul and killed at least six people and injured 81, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu announced early Monday.

Preliminary findings show that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party/People’s Protection Units (PKK/YPG) are behind the attack on the busy pedestrian Istiklal Avenue on Sunday, the minister said at a briefing, public broadcaster TRT reported.

The YPG is the armed wing of the PKK, which has been seeking to establish an independent Kurdish state since 1984.

Hours earlier at a press conference on Sunday, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said that the authorities had assessed that the explosion was a terrorist attack committed by a woman who detonated a bomb.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag had previously said that a woman had sat on a bench in the street for more than 40 minutes before leaving and that the explosion had occurred minutes later.

“There are two possibilities. Either there is a self-exploding mechanism in the bag or someone detonated it (with remote control),” Bozdag said, according to TRT.

The minister added that the woman’s identity was still unknown.

Bozdag said that the involvement of several terrorist organizations was being evaluated but that the attack could not be attributed to any at the moment.

More would be known once the explosive used and the identity of the woman have been investigated, he added.

Istiklal Avenue, a pedestrian thoroughfare lined with shops and restaurants that culminates in the iconic Taksim Square, is full of passersby at all hours, including many tourists.

In 2016, there were several terrorist attacks in Istanbul, including at Istiklal.

Most of them were carried out by groups affiliated to the Islamic State terror group.

However, after a mass shooting on New Year’s Eve at a nightclub on the banks of the Bosphorus, there had been no more attacks in the city. EFE


Related Articles

Back to top button