Five people including a suicide bomber were killed and 36 wounded in an attack on a major shopping and tourist district in central Istanbul on Saturday, in the fourth suicide bombing to hit Turkey this year. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack on part of Istiklal Street, a long pedestrian street lined with global shops and foreign consulates, a few hundred meters from an area where police buses are often parked.
A CCTV camera has captured the bomb blast that happened in a crowded locality. Two Turkish officials told Reuters that evidence suggested the attacker was likely from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) or the Islamic State militant group. NATO member Turkey faces security threats from both the PKK in the mainly Kurdish southeast and has also been a target for Islamist militants. One of the official said the bomber had planned to hit a more crowded spot.
“The attacker detonated the bomb before reaching the targeted point because they were scared of the police,” the official said, declining to be named because the investigation is ongoing. Armed police sealed off the shopping street where half a dozen ambulances had gathered. Forensic teams in white suits scoured the area for evidence. Police helicopters buzzed overhead and panicked shoppers fled the area, ducking down narrow sidestreets.