10 killed, others injured in Istanbul terrorism attack

AT LEAST 10 people are reported to have been killed in suspected suicide bombing in Turkey's biggest city, Istanbul. 

Germany's foreign minister said that eight Germans were killed in today's attack and nine others wounded, correcting an earlier claim made by a senior Turkish official that nine Germans had died.

Angela Merkel has expressed her sympathies for the victims of the Istanbul bombing and their families, and promised Germany would continue to fight against terror, the Associated Press reports.

"Today Istanbul was the target, before Paris, Copenhagen, Tunis, and so many other areas," she told reporters in Berlin.

"International terror changes the places of its attacks but its goal is always the same - it is our free life in free society. The terrorists are the enemies of all free people, indeed, the enemies of all humanity, whether in Syria or Turkey, in France or Germany."

She said she had spoken with both the Turkish prime minister and president who had informed her about the progress of the investigation, and called a special session of her Cabinet to discuss the attack.

Turkey is becoming a more dangerous place, but then so is the Middle East and North Africa and anywhere Isis can send its suicide squads.

The Turkish authorities say that the bomber who killed at least 10 people, mostly German tourists, near the obelisk of Theodosius, not far from Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, was a 28-year-old Saudi making it likely though not certain that Isis ordered the attack.

The moment the bomb went off in Istanbul has been captured by a tourist in the area. 

Jostein Nielsen, a 59-year-old Salvation Army officer, told Norway's TV2 that he and his wife were sightseeing in the Turkish city when the bomb went off.

"I first heard a bang that I think is what detonated the bomb," Nielsen said. "After that came the real bang. I felt that my knee stopped working. There were human remains all over the place."

He was speaking from a hospital bed in Istanbul. His wife, Magna Vaaje Nielsen, was not injured.

"It was a great shock," she told TV2. "One does not think that such things will happen when you are sightseeing."

The Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said Turkey is determined to battle Isis - which is being held responsible for the attack - until it no longer "remains a threat" to the country or the world.

Turkish authorities have said a 28-year-old Syrian national carried out the attack in Istanbul's historic Sultanahmet district, a main tourist hub.

Turkey's deputy Prime Minister Nman Kurtulmus has said the bomber believed responsible for the attack was not on Turkey's list of suspected militants and may have entered the country recently.

2015 saw a number of cases of tourists being killed or injured while overseas. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued advice at the time detailing the countries which should be partially or entirely avoided.

Topics:  editors picks germany isis istanbul syria terrorism

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