Turkey’s interior minister has accused the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) of a bomb blast in Istanbul and said a suspect has been arrested.
According to the Trukey Media, six people were killed and 81 injured in an explosion in a popular tourist area of the Turkish city of Istanbul on Sunday.
“The person who planted the bomb has been arrested,” Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said in a statement broadcast by the state-run Anadolu news agency.
He said that “According to our investigations, the terrorist organization PKK is responsible (for the blast).”
The PKK, blacklisted as a terrorist group by Ankara and its Western allies, has waged violent campaigns for Kurdish autonomy in southeastern Turkey since the 1980s.
In videos posted on social media, bodies can be seen on the ground in the city’s busy Istiqlal Street after the blast that took place at 4:20 pm.
Videos posted on social media showed bodies lying on the ground in the city’s busy Istiqlal street after the blast that took place at 4:20 p.m. local time.
The official Anadolu Agency’s Twitter account reported that several hours later on Monday, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu announced the arrest of the suspected attacker.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed the casualties and described the blast as a “heinous attack”.
Speaking before leaving for the G20 summit in Bali, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, “Our nation must ensure that the perpetrators of the incident on Istiqlal Street receive the punishment they deserve.” ‘
Although there was no immediate confirmation of a terrorist attack, the Turkish president said it was possible. He indicated that a woman may be involved in this attack.
In CCTV footage, a woman was seen leaving a bag on a bench on Istiqlal Street. According to Turkish media, gunshots were heard near Taksim Square.
Turkish anti-terrorism and crime scene investigation teams immediately rushed to the scene and cordoned off the area.
Turkey’s media watchdog banned broadcasts in the vicinity of the blast after fake footage was posted on social media platforms. Social networking websites Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook were also deployed.
The explosion occurred near a mosque and 300 meters from the French consulate.
Consulates of other countries are also located on Istiqlal Street, where many terrorist attacks have taken place.
Sunday’s blast was the deadliest since December 2016.
Al-Qaeda, ISIS and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have claimed responsibility for recent terrorist attacks in Turkey.
Al-Qaeda in Turkey carried out two separate suicide bombings in the same district in November 2003, killing more than 60 people and injuring 650. A week earlier, it had attacked two places of worship.
In 2016, an ISIS member targeted a group of Israeli tourists, killing five and injuring 36.
In December 2016, bomb attacks outside a busy stadium in Istanbul killed 38 people and injured 166.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for Sunday’s blast.