Rush-hour bomb in Istanbul kills 11 and injures 36
Published 08/06/2016 | 02:30
A rush-hour car bomb ripped through central Istanbul yesterday, killing 11 people and wounding up to 36 more in one of the worst terrorist attacks on the city for nearly a decade.
The explosion appeared to target a shuttle bus carrying riot police as it passed through a busy junction in Beyazit, close to the Grand Bazaar.
The death toll from terrorist attacks across Turkey has passed 100 this year alone.
Although the deadliest have been linked to Isil, a string have also been claimed by militants from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which regularly targets security personnel in its civil war with the government.
Yesterday's blast mangled the police bus and several nearby cars.
It also shattered windows at a 16th-century Ottoman mosque, Sehzadebasi, and forced the cancellation of exams at the nearby Istanbul University.
Hours after the explosion, police detained four suspects reported to have hired the car used in the bombing.
The reports made no mention of the suspects' possible affiliation. The authorities imposed a news blackout.
President Recep Tayip Erdogan suggested that the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) was behind the attack and pledged to continue Turkey's fight against terrorism. But there was no early claim of responsibility.
John Bass, the US ambassador to Turkey, condemned the "heinous attack", saying his country continued to "stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Turkey in the fight against terrorism".
Since the start of the year, Turkey has been hit by a sequence of attacks that have caused tourism to plummet.
Two separate blasts in Ankara claimed by the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons - a radical splinter group of the PKK - earlier this year claimed dozens of lives.
Last month, at least eight people, including soldiers. were wounded by a remotely detonated car bomb aimed at a military vehicle in Istanbul that was claimed by the PKK. (© Daily Telegraph, London)