Time: 11:34 a.m. CEST Update: 6:12 p.m. CEST
A suicide bomb attack happened on Saturday on Balo side street in the busy Istiklal Avenue in Taksim, Turkish media report. The suicide attack resulted with five people dead and at least 20 others injured. Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin said that five people died in the attack, including the attacker, and a person who died in the hospital. The police sealed off the area and ambulances arrived at the scene. Dogan News Agency reported that injured were transferred at different hospitals in Istanbul.
Persons who died in the attack are all foreigners. Three are Israeli citizens Simha Siman Demri, Yonathan Suher, Avraham Godman and Iranian Ali Riza Khalman. Of those injured, the Turkish Health Ministry said six are Israeli, one is German, one is Icelander, one is Iranian, two are Irish citizens and one is Dubaian. Later, the U.S. said that two American citizens died in the “heinous attack.”
As Hurryiet Daily News says, “Turkish Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu said 36 people, including 12 foreign nationals and a child, were injured, and seven of the victims in hospitals were in critical condition.”
“We as a nation are unfortunately now face to face with a situation of unlimited, immeasurable acts that are inhumane, defy human values and are treacherous,” Müezzinoğlu said.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon confirmed Israeli citizens were injured, but could not confirm the number of Israelis harmed nor what condition they were in.
“The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s terrorist attack in Istanbul,” Ned Price, a National Security Council spokesman, said in a statement published by the White House. “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.”