A blast from a suicide bomber in the city center of Istanbul today has killed at least 10 people. The attack has is suspected to be the handiwork of terrorist cult ISIS, though no group has officially claimed responsibility. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu blames the attack on the group which maintains a residence in the country.
At least 8 German visitors were killed by the blast, which happened between the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, popular tourist attactions. German Chancellor Angela Merkel warns that that number may yet rise. 15 other people were injured.
Reports say that the suicide bomber was a Syrian national. Most shops and restaurants in the area will be open this evening, but the governments of Turkey and Germany have warned people to stay away from open crowded areas in case of other attacks. The perpetrator of the attack is said to have been born in 1988; the bomber was not on Turkey’s watch-list and is believed to have recently come into Turkey from Syria.
An eyewitness of the attack, Murat Manaz, said, “I went there and saw it and came back to the hotel. There was chaos. Everybody was running somewhere. Policemen did not see this coming. They were distressed but at the same time they were trying to evacuate the area because they said there was a possibility that a second bomb could go off.”
Turkey has become increasingly involved in the fight against ISIS, which continually loses territory. As a result of its efforts, ISIS has singled Turkey out as a primary target. However, Davutoglu stresses that though ISIS has not only targeted Turkey but the entire world, Turkey will not back down in the face of terrorism.
“We will continue our fight against terror with the same firm attitude,” he said. “We will never compromise, not one single inch.”
It does not appear that the attack targeted one nationality specifically, broadening its threat—and also bolstering its opposition simultaneously.