Turkey announces ISIS is behind suicide attack in Istanbul
A Turkish ISIS recruit carried out the suicide bombing that killed four foreigners on a major shopping artery in Istanbul, it has been revealed.
Mehmet Ozturk, 24, was named by Turkey’s Interior Minister Efken Ala earlier today.
‘The attacker has been formally identified. He is linked to the terrorist organisation Daesh,’ Ala told a press conference, using an alternative name for ISIS.
Ala said five people had been arrested on suspicion of links to Saturday’s attack on Istiklal Caddesi, a bustling pedestrian street in the heart of the city.
Born in 1992, Ozturk came from Gaziantep, a city in southeast Turkey on the border with Syria, the interior minister said.
DNA samples were reportedly taken from his brother and his father, who works as a factory worker in the southeastern city to compare with fragments taken from the bomber’s headless body.
He was ‘not on our list of wanted persons,’ Ala said, defending the authorities against accusations of security failings following six major attacks around the country since July that have killed over 200 people.
Five people died in the attack including three Israeli people and one Iranian.
The bodies of three of the victims were being flown back to Israel today.
Military personnel accompanied the coffins, draped in flags bearing the Star of David, aboard an aircraft at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul.
A video of the horror emerged after officials confirmed five people died in Saturday morning’s suicide attack.
It shows the horrifying moment a woman waved goodbye to her friend moments before the Istanbul attacker detonated his bomb just metres away from her.
The female shopper appeared to be laughing and joking with her companion as she turned to say goodbye before heading towards a shop on one of the Turkish city’s busiest streets.
Moments later, a large explosion rips through the busy street, which is lined with international stores and shopping centres.
Two of the five dead are American citizens, The White House has confirmed, with Turkish media reporting two Israelis and an Iranian national were also killed in addition to the bomber.
White House National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said in a statement Saturday: ‘We are in close touch with Turkish authorities and reaffirm our commitment to work together with Turkey to confront the evil of terrorism.’
A further 39 people – including at least 24 foreign nationals were injured.
The Israeli citizens have been named by Turkish media as Simha Siman Demri, 60, Yonathan Suher, 40 and Avraham Goldman, 70 by Broadcaster CNN-Turk
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