Istanbul, Turkey – Five people were killed and 39 others were injured in a suicide bomb attack on Sunday in central Istanbul, including 2 Americans.
Early on March 19, on the busy İstiklal Avenue in Taksim the Turkey, a tourist district with a long pedestrian avenue lined with international stores and foreign consulates, suffered another suicide bomb attack. Turkish Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu said 39 people, including 24 foreign nationals and a child, were injured, and seven of the victims in hospitals were in critical condition.
There has not been an immediate claim of responsibility but suspicion fell on the Islamic State group and on Kurdish militants who have claimed responsibility for the last two attacks in Ankara. Also, Israeli media reported that the bomber had been identified as a Turkish national, Sabash Yildiz, 33, who was believed to be affiliated with the Islamic State.
Foreigners among the victims
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu issued a statement saying there were several foreigners among the victims.
All victims of the attack besides the attacker were foreign nationals. Three Israeli citizens may be among those killed.
Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu confirmed that twenty-four of the wounded were foreigners, including six from Israel, two from Ireland, and one each from Germany, Iran and the United Arab Emirates.
Davutoglu said in a statement that terrorism has no religion, no language and no race and that terrorism has to be condemned no matter who the perpetrators are.
Comments on the White House
The White House said in a statement that the United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attack in Istanbul, Turkey.
It was not immediately clear whether the Americans held a dual citizenship, but the White House said they were among the five reported fatalities.
“Two American citizens were among those killed in this heinous attack. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of those killed, and we wish a speedy recovery to those injured,” Ned Price, spokesman for the National Security Council, said in a statement.
Source: NBC News