Istanbul bombing: What we know so far

Published January 12th, 2016 - 03:42 GMT
A deadly blast has rocked a tourist area of Istanbul, killing at least ten people. (Twitter)
A deadly blast has rocked a tourist area of Istanbul, killing at least ten people. (Twitter)

A historic district of Istanbul has been hit by a suspected suicide bomb, with at least ten people being confirmed dead and a further 15 injured. The location of the attack was very near the famous Blue Mosque.

Here is what we know so far.

Syrian attacker suspected

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara that the attacker was linked to Syria. There was no immediate claim of responsibility from any group, but Erdogan appeared to be very certain.

“I strongly condemn the terror attack which was carried out by a suicide bomber of Syrian origin.”

German tourists represented a large portion of the victims

Reports suggest that nine of the ten people killed were German tourists. The office of the Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that the prime minister has spoken to German chancellor Angela Merkel by the phone to express condolences.

He also told Merkel that details of the investigation will be shared with Germany, according to reports.

The location of the attack is popular with visitors

The attack took place in the Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, near the city’s famous Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. One year previously, a blast rocked the Sultanahmet square at a tourist police station, killing one officer.

Sajjan Gohel, international security director at the Asia-Pacific Foundation, told CNN that the chosen target area appears to be in line with Daesh-inspired attacks as it is popular with tourists as well as culturally important.

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