: BBC: Turkey blames Islamic State for Istanbul bombing

17:20 Mar. 20, 2016

BBC: Turkey blames Islamic State for Istanbul bombing

Police secure the area following a suicide bombing in a major shopping and tourist district in the central part of the city on March 19, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Getty Images)

The suicide bomber in Istanbul's main shopping street belonged to so-called Islamic State, the interior minister says

Efken Ala named the man as Mehmet Ozturk. He told reporters that five people had been questioned so far.
Mr Ala announced a review of security measures and curfews in seven Turkish provinces.

Three Israelis - two with Israeli-US nationality - and an Iranian died in the attack. Another 36 were injured.
Eleven Israelis were among the injured. Two Irish citizens, one national each from Germany, Iceland, Dubai and Iran were also injured.
The coffins of the Israeli nationals were being flown out on Sunday. The Israeli government advised its citizens to avoid Turkey.

"We have determined that Mehmet Ozturk, born in 1992 in Gaziantep, carried out the heinous attack on Saturday in Istanbul," Mr Ala told a news conference in the capital Ankara "It has been established that he is a member of Daesh," he said using another name for IS.

Read also Five killed in deadly suicide bomb attack in Istanbul

Turkey is part of the US-led coalition against IS and allows coalition planes to use its air base at Incirlik for raids on Iraq and Syria.

Kurdish militants have claimed a number of recent attacks in Turkey.President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said terror groups are targeting civilians because they are losing their struggle against Turkish security forces.

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