Turkish police arrest suspect in Istanbul bombing | News

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Police have arrested the “person who left a bomb” that exploded on Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue, the interior minister said.

Turkish police have arrested a suspect in an explosion that killed eight people and injured 81 in central Istanbul, the country’s Anadolu news agency reported.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told news agencies on Monday that the arrested suspect was “the person who left the explosive device” on a busy road in Turkey’s largest city.

Soylu blamed the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party for Sunday’s blast on Istiklal Avenue, saying the group was headquartered in Syria and said, “In our opinion, the order for the terrorist attack came from Ain al-Arab in northern Syria.”

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“We will take responsibility for this heinous terrorist attack,” he added.

So far, no one has been charged.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described Sunday’s bombing as “treasonous” and said it “reeks of terrorism.” Ahead of a Group of 20 summit in Indonesia, Erdogan said initial reports suggested “a woman played a role” in the attack.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag told A Haber television late Sunday that the woman was seen sitting on a bench on Istiklal Avenue for more than 40 minutes.

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He said the explosion happened minutes after he got up.

“There are two possibilities,” he told A Haber. “There’s a mechanism in this bag that explodes, or someone remotely detonates it [it]”.

Al-Jazeera has obtained a photo of a woman believed to be behind the blast.

Sinem Koseoglu, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Turkey, said officials believed he was a member of the PKK, as well as two other youths.

The explosion occurred at 16:20 (13:20 GMT) on Sunday afternoon, sending debris into the air and leaving several people lying on the ground.

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The place was bustling as usual with shoppers, tourists and families.

Interior Minister Soylu announced Monday that the death toll had risen to eight. At least five were in intensive care, two in critical condition.

Sunday’s explosion was the first major explosion in Istanbul in several years.

In December 2016, 38 people were killed and 155 injured in two bombings outside a football stadium in Istanbul, an attack by an affiliate of the PKK, which is designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.



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