A suspected Islamic State (IS) suicide bomber struck in the heart of Istanbul’s tourist district Tuesday, killing at least 10 people, most of them German tourists.
All of those killed in Sultanahmet square, near the tourist sites of Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, were foreigners, Reuters quoted Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as saying.
It is believed that the bomber entered Turkey recently from Syria and that he is a member of the IS, which is under attack from a US-led coalition that includes Turkey.
Davutoglu vowed to hunt down and punish those linked to the bomber.
“Until we wipe out Daesh, Turkey will continue its fight at home and with coalition forces,” he said in televised comments, using an Arabic name for IS.
He said he had spoken by phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to offer condolences.
Several bodies lay on the ground in the square, also known as the Hippodrome of Constantinople, in the immediate aftermath of the blast.
The White House condemned the “heinous attack” and pledged solidarity with NATO ally Turkey against terrorism.
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