Time: 2:13 p.m. CEST
The key suspect in a suicide bombing that left five dead in Istanbul’s main shopping district, Istiklal Street, had ties to Islamic State group, Turkey’s interior minister said on Sunday. Minister Efkan Ala said Mehmet Ozturk, who was thought to have killed himself in the bombing attack, had links to the Islamic fundamentalist terror group operating in neighboring Syria.
A suicide bomb attack happened on Saturday on Balo side street crossings with 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 close to the Atlas Pasaji. Dogan News Agency, news agency of Dogan Media Group, which also publishes Hurriyet and Hurriyet Daily News, 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 hold dual Israeli-American citizenship died in the “heinous attack.”