Suicide bomber targets Turkey’s main tourist district

Ten people have been reported dead and at least 15 others wounded after a suicide bomber targeted Turkey’s main tourist district in Istanbul, the historic Sultanahmet Square, early Tuesday morning around 10:15 a.m.

Several Turks and foreigners were injured and killed in the explosion that went off in a park between a popular attraction known as the Blue Mosque (also known as, Sultan Ahmed Mosque or Sultanahmet Camii) and the Obelisk of Theodosius (also known as the Egyptian Obelisk).

The suicide bomber has been identified as 28-year-old, Saudi-born Nabil Fadli. An ongoing investigation has been launched into Fadli’s background and connections. Earlier, the Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş announced that the bomber was believed to have been a 28-year-old Syrian national.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing, but it was announced by the Turkish Deputy PM Numan Kurtulmuş that the suicide bomber, Nabil Fadli, has been identified as being a militant of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and entered Turkey through Syria.

“I strongly condemn the terror incident that occurred in Istanbul, at the Sultanahmet Square, and which has been assessed as being an attack by a Syria-rooted suicide bomber,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated in televised remarks.

It has been reported by Turkey’s Doğan News Agency that all 10 of the deceased were foreigners. Those wounded include six Germans, one Norwegian and one Peruvian along with several others.

Reporters were not allowed to access the scene, and a media blackout imposed to prevent revealing any further details during the conduction of the investigation by the authorities.

Last January, a female Russian suicide bomber, who was suspected of being linked to the Islamic State, targeted a police station in Sultanahmet, killing an officer and herself upon detonation.

Currently, Turkey is facing heightened violence with Turkey’s security forces and several militant groups, along with more than two million Syrian refuges and other migrants as they make their way through Turkey to Europe.

Turkish authorities arrested two alleged Islamic State members who were suspected of planning suicide bombings during the New Year’s celebrations that were held in Ankara, Turkey’s capital.

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