Istanbul bomb attack latest updates: Turkish police arrest 22 suspects, including bomber – Details here | The Financial Express

Istanbul bomb attack latest updates: Turkish police arrest 22 suspects, including bomber – Details here

Besides Turkey, the PKK is considered a terrorist organisation by other members of the European Union and the United States.

Istanbul bomb attack latest updates: Turkish police arrest 22 suspects, including bomber – Details here
The interior minister has blamed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) for the blast. (Image: Reuters)

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu informed on Monday that the police has arrested 22 suspects in the bombing at Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue that killed 6 people and wounded at least 80. The minister added that the arrested suspects also include the person who had planted the bomb. The authorities had earlier said that the suspect who planted the bomb can be a woman as the CCTV footage of the area showed a woman sitting on the bench for an unusually long time and leaving a few minutes before the blast. The woman reportedly left a plastic bag behind before moving from the spot. 

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Government minister Derya Yanik wrote in a tweet that a ministry employee and his young daughter were among the victims. All six people who lost their lives in the attack were Turkish citizens.

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The interior minister has blamed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) for the blast and said the order for the attack on Istiklal Avenue was given in Kobani, a city in northern Syria. Notably, the Turkish forces have carried out operations in recent years against the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia. According to an IE report, PKK has been internationally listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

History of conflicts

In December 2016, an offshoot of PKK claimed the responsibility of bombings outside a soccer stadium in Istanbul that resulted in the death of 38 people and at least 155 were left injured. The PKK has led an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984 and more than 40,000 people have been killed in clashes so far, Reuters reported.

Besides Turkey, the PKK is considered a terrorist organisation by other members of the European Union and the United States.

Condolences pour in

Many countries have sent in their condemnations of the attack and condolences for the victims of the blast. India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted that India condoles “the tragic loss of lives” in the attack. “Our sympathies are also with those who sustained injuries. We wish them a speedy recovery,” Bagchi added. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, tweeted in Turkish, said: “The pain of the friendly Turkish people is our pain.”

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In a statement on Sunday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre strongly condemned “the act of violence”. “Our thoughts are with those who were injured and our deepest condolences go to those who lost loved ones. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our NATO Ally Turkiye in countering terrorism,” the Press Secretary said.

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First published on: 14-11-2022 at 12:52 IST