Abandoned Japanese boy leaves hospital
Erdogan: Killing of officers unforgiveable
A rush-hour car bomb attack targeting a bus carrying riot police killed 11 people and wounded 36 others.
Speaking at the scene of yesterday’s blast in the district of Beyazit, Istanbul governor Vasip Sahin said the dead included seven police officers and four civilians. At least three of the wounded were in serious condition.
The explosion was caused by a bomb placed inside a car and was detonated as the police vehicle was passing by.
The police bus was overturned from the force of the blast, which also damaged nearby buildings, including a closed hotel whose entrance appeared gutted and windows were blown out.
The blast also shattered windows at a famous 16th-century Ottoman mosque, Sehzadebasi, and wrecked several cars in the area.
The explosion occurred on a busy intersection near an Istanbul University building, forcing officials to cancel exams.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited some of the wounded at Istanbul’s Haseki hospital, where two people were undergoing surgery, and said Turkey would press ahead with its fight against terrorism.
“These [attacks] are being carried out against people whose duty it is to ensure the security of our people,” said Erdogan. “These cannot be pardoned or forgiven. We shall continue our fight against terrorists tirelessly until the end.”
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu condemned the attack, which occurred on the second day of Ramadan. He said: “They are coldheartedly exploding bombs on a Ramadan day.”
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim was meeting with the country's interior minister to discuss the attack.
There was no immediate responsibility claim and Sahin would not comment on who may be behind the attack. Authorities imposed a news blackout preventing media from reporting details of the investigation.
Yesterday’s attack was the fourth major bombing in Istanbul this year. Two of them targeting tourists and two hitting security forces. The spike in violence has led to a sharp dip in tourism, a mainstay of the economy.
The rebels of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, have been targeting police and military personnel with bombs since July, when a fragile peace process between the rebels and the government collapsed. ISIS has also been blamed for a series of deadly bombings in Turkey, which is part of the US-led coalition against ISIS.
Last month, eight people were also wounded in Istanbul after car bomb similarly targeted a military vehicle.
A Japanese boy who was found nearly a week after he was abandoned in a forest by his parents as punishment was released from a hospital. Seven-year-old Yamato Tanooka was met with loud cheers outside the hospital in the city of Hakodate. When asked what he would like to do, he said he wants to play baseball. “I am fine,” Yamato told reporters.
EXPLOSION: Firefighters work at the scene