A suicide attack on Istanbul’s main pedestrian shopping street killed five people, including two Americans, in the sixth suicide bombing in Turkey in the past year. Several foreigners were among 36 people wounded.
The fourth suicide bombing in Turkey this year hit part of Istiklal Street, a long pedestrian zone lined with global brand name shops and foreign consulates, just a few hundred meters from an area where police buses are usually parked.
Turkish media said three Israelis and one Iranian were killed, while two of the Israelis were also named by Washington as US citizens.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but suspicion fell on the Islamic State group and on Kurdish militants who have claimed two recent attacks in the capital, Ankara. DNA samples were taken from family members of two possible Islamic State militants who could be the bomber.
The explosion comes as Turkey is on edge following two recent suicide bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, which were claimed by a Kurdish group, that is an off-shoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.
Turkey sees the unrest in its largely Kurdish southeast as deeply linked to events in northern Syria, where the Kurdish YPG militia has seized territory as it fights both ISIL and rebels battling President Bashar al-Assad.