Turkey: 6 dead, 81 injured in Istanbul blast; suspect arrested
Just hours after a bomb attack rocked a busy street in Istanbul, Turkey, on Sunday evening, claiming six lives and injuring 81 people, a suspect involved in carrying out the blast was arrested on Monday. Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu stated the arrested individual is believed to have planted the bomb, reported AFP. He also blamed the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group for the attack.
As per the authorities, a Turkish government ministry worker and his daughter were among the six people killed in the Sunday blast. According to Reuters, five of those injured were under intensive care at a hospital, while two others were in critical condition.
The Sunday blast took place at around 4:20 pm (local time) on a busy shopping street in Istanbul's Taksim Square, reported BBC. In many video clips, which have gone viral online, hundreds of people can be seen running on the street as black smoke starts to envelop the area following the explosion. Ambulances and police vehicles can also be seen rushing to the spot.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that the attack "smells like terrorism." Erdogan and Turkey's Vice President Fuat Oktay also claimed that a "woman" bomber was responsible for the blast. The president also stated that attempts to "defeat Turkey and the Turkish people through terrorism will fail today just as they did yesterday and as they will tomorrow."
Following the Istanbul blast, waves of condemnation of the attack and heartfelt condolences for the victims have poured in from different countries, including Greece, the United Kingdom, and Italy, among others. The United States said it stands "shoulder-to-shoulder" with its NATO ally, Turkey, in "countering terrorism," as per a statement from the White House. No one has claimed any responsibility for the attack so far.
French President Emmanuel Macron took to Twitter and wrote in Turkish: "We share your pain. We are with you in the fight against terrorism." Meanwhile, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also expressed grief over the Istanbul bombing in a tweet in Turkish and said: "The pain of the friendly Turkish people is our pain."
Milletimiz için oldukça anlamlı olan bu günde, tam da 13 Kasım 2015 tarihinde hayatını kaybedenleri anarken, Türk halkı kalbinden, İstanbul'dan, saldırıya uğradı. Türk insanına mesajımız : acınızı paylaşıyoruz. Başımiz sağ olsun. Terörle mücadelede yanınızdayız.— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) November 13, 2022