At least five people have died after a suicide bombing in a major shopping and tourist district in central Istanbul on Saturday.
The bomber struck Istiklal Street, one of the busiest shopping areas in the city, at around 10:55 a.m.
At least five people have died, including the bomber.
According to Turkish media reports, three Israelis are among the dead. The Israeli foreign ministry has confirmed at least two Israelis died in the attack. Turkey’s deputy health minister Ahmet Baha Öğütken earlier said that one Israeli citizen died.
The White House confirmed in a Saturday evening statement that two U.S. citizens were among the dead. It is believed that they held dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship.
Turkish media also reports that one Iranian citizen died.
On Sunday, Turkish interior minister Efkan Ala said the bomber was linked to Islamic State. According to Ala, the bomber was from Gaziantep in the South of Turkey and was born in 1992.
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) March 19, 2016
At least 36 people injured
Turkey’s health minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu said 36 people were injured, seven of whom are in a serious condition. He added that 12 of those hurt were foreigners. Earlier, the city’s governor, Vasip Sahin, said 20 people had been injured.
The health ministry in a statement said that the foreign nationals injured included: six Israelis; two Irish; one Icelander; one German; one Iranian; and one from Dubai.
The Israeli foreign ministry tweeted that 11 Israeli tourists among the casualties were treated in 5 hospitals in the area. Earlier, Haaretz reported there were nine injured Israelis, some of whom were in a serious condition.
The Irish ambassador to Turkey, Brendan Ward, has confirmed that an Irish-Algerian family – two adults and three children – were injured in Saturday’s attack.
Turkey’s Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) banned broadcasts from the scene, footage from the blast and aftermath, and images of the victims. The ban was lifted in the evening.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Doğan News Agency reported that DNA samples from the bomber were being tested.
On Thursday, Germany closed its consulate in Istanbul because of a possible “imminent attack,” and a German school in Istanbul was also closed due to an unconfirmed warning.
Last Sunday, a suicide attack in the capital, Ankara, killed 37 people. The Kurdish militant group TAK claimed responsibility for the attack.
In February, TAK also claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack on a military convoy in Ankara which killed 28 people.
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) March 19, 2016
— Alex Mallin (@alex_mallin) March 19, 2016
— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 19, 2016
11 Israeli tourists among casualties in #Istanbul terror attack today. They are being treated in 5 hospitals in the area.
— Israel Foreign Min. (@IsraelMFA) March 19, 2016
— Hürriyet Daily News (@HDNER) March 19, 2016
6 Israelis, 1 Icelander, 1 German, 1 Iranian, 2 Irish and 1 tourist from Dubai injured in Istanbul via @ValkryV pic.twitter.com/Zkp5Z2LYG3
— Ragıp Soylu (@ragipsoylu) March 19, 2016
— DAILY SABAH (@DailySabah) March 19, 2016
— CNN International (@cnni) March 19, 2016
— AFP news agency (@AFP) March 19, 2016