Turkey’s interior minister said that the suicide bomber behind Saturday’s explosion in Istanbul had links with the ISIS. The explosion that took place in a busy tourist area in Istanbul killed four foreign tourists and injured dozens others.
According to Minister Efkan Ala, the suicide bomber was a 24-year-old Turkish citizen, Mehmet Ozturk, who was born in the Gaziantep province at the country’s border with Syria. He added that Ozturk did appear in any list of wanted suspects and that five others have been detained for further investigations.
“The identity of the terrorist who carried out this reprehensible attack has been determined. The findings obtained show that the terrorist is linked to the Daesh terror organization,” the CBC News quoted the minister as saying.
Among those killed in the Saturday’s attack were two American-Israelis, an Israeli and an Iranian. Turkish Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu said that 36 people were injured in the attack. Among the injured 11 were Israelis.
“I condemn those who are killing humanity like this,” Muezzinoglu said.
Turkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that it is still not clear whether the attackers targeted Israelis. Since August 2014, the Israelis have been warned against making non-essential trips to Turkey.
Istiklal Street, where the attack took place, is a busy street lined with shops and cafes. Government offices and foreign missions are also located in the same are.
“We are still considering with great sensitivity other connections or forces behind this,” the CNN quoted Ala as saying. “The fight against terror will continue.”
US National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said that the US is committed to working with Turkey in its counter-terrorism efforts.
“These repeated acts of terrorism in Turkey must come to an end,” Price said in a statement. “We are in close touch with Turkish authorities and reaffirm our commitment to work together with Turkey to confront the evil of terrorism.”