Five killed including the suicide bomber
A deadly suicide attack hit Turkey’s capital of Istanbul, killing at least five people including the attacker and left another 36 wounded.
The suicide attack took place on a busy Istanbul shopping street where prominent international stores and restaurants are located.
According to reports, an Iranian and two Israelis were among those killed in the blast on Saturday morning.
Twelve of the 36 who were wounded were foreigners including two Irish and six Israelis. Four others were from Dubai, Germany, Iceland and Iran. At present, three of the injured are in critical situation.
Aftermath Of the Attack
Local police and security forces immediately responded after the attack. Helicopters circled overhead as security forces started the investigation and Police closed the area.
Turkey’s RTUK, the prominent broadcasting agency then issued a broadcast ban after the attack.
US and NATO Condemn the Attack
The United States of America and NATO, both allies of Turkey issued statements denouncing the attack in Istanbul.
In his remarks in Washington DC, Assistant Secretary John Kirby and Department Spokesperson for Bureau of Public Affairs said the US strongly condemns the terrorist attack today on Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those killed and our hopes for a quick recovery for those wounded.” – Mr. Kirby
He reiterated that the United States stands united with NATO Ally Turkey in the fight against terrorism. Mr. Kirby described the latest attack as “vicious” that killed innocent Turkish citizens and tourists.
The US is determined to eradicate terrorism and support all those across the region working to promote peace and stability.
NATO spoke too, denouncing the attack. NATO secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, said the attack was “yet another terrorist outrage targeting innocent civilians and our ally Turkey.”
Extremism Lurking in Turkey?
Last year, many people were filled with fear in Turkey after a suicide bombing killed at least 30 people. Many speculated the attack was perpetrated by Islamic State militants.
The terror attack took place in the Turkish city of Suruc, near the border with Syria, destroying a cultural center and wounding more than 100 people.
This is not the first time that an ISIS-related attack has hit Turkey. In fact, Kurdish people in southeastern Turkey experienced their first massive terror attack by ISIS in May 2013. The Sunni militant group detonated two car bombs in front of government buildings in the border town of Reyhanli. The attack killed 51 people.
US and Turkey On Extremism
The United States of America and Turkey have collaborated on efforts to counter ISIS and are working together to counter terrorism.
The civil war in Syria has put the security situation of Turkey in a volatile state. The Turkish government considers ISIS, the Assad regime and other extremist groups spreading terror in Syria as direct threats to its security.