January 12, 2016
A suspected member of the Islamic State (IS) group has killed 10 people, at least nine of them German tourists, in a suicide bomb attack in the Turkish city of Istanbul, officials say.
They say the Syrian national carried out the attack in the Sultanahmet district, near the famous Blue Mosque.
Fifteen people were wounded, many of them also German.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey was the “top target for all terrorist groups in the region”.
His country, he added, was “fighting against all of them equally”.
The explosion rocked the tourist-heavy area of Sultanahmet at about 10.20am local time on Tuesday. President Erdogan said the bomber was thought to have links to Syria.
Photographs appear to show bodies on the ground inside a police cordon.
In a statement, German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he “must unfortunately assume” there were German nationals among the injured and “cannot rule out” they may also number among the dead.
A Turkish government official later reported that nine German tourists had been killed.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this barbaric and cowardly act of terrorism,” he said. “It was aimed at the heart of the Turkish metropolis Istanbul, which we all regard highly for its cosmopolitanism.
“In these hours we stand firmly by Turkey’s side.
“We mourn the victims of this murderous attack. Our thoughts are with the relatives and all those who remain in a state of uncertainty.”
Turkish news agency Dogan reports that six Germans, one Norwegian and one Peruvian tourist are among those hurt.
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