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Istanbul: Bomb Explosion Kills 6; Main Suspect With Over 20 Others Arrested

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In the Turkish capital, Istanbul an explosion occurred in the city central areas killing at least six people and injuring 81, according to the authorities.

Turkey’s interior minister on Monday morning said that the Turkish authorities have arrested more than 20 suspects including the person believed to have planted a bomb.

The blast took place at about 16:20 local time (13:20 GMT) on Sunday on a shopping street in the Taksim Square area.

Vice-President Fuat Oktay had called the attack as an act carried out by a woman, in his earlier statement.

President calls the blast “vile attack”

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the perpetrators would be punished. At a news conference in Istanbul, he condemned what he termed as the “vile attack” and said “the smell of terror” was in the air.

In a televised press conference, giving all the updates, the president said, “The relevant units of our state are working to find the perpetrators… behind this vile attack.”

He said that initial signs suggested to a “terror” attack.

He added, “It might be wrong if we say for sure that this is terror but according to first signs… there is a smell of terror there. The attempt to take over Turkey and the Turkish nation through terrorism will not reach its goal today or tomorrow.”

Suspects arrested

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag echoed the same as the vice president in a statement to media and said that a woman was sitting on a bench in the area for more than 40 minutes, and left just minutes before the blast took place.

On Monday morning, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said a person found suspicious of having planted the bomb had been arrested, and blamed the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) of responsibility.

The PKK is a militant group which demands for an independent Kurdish state within Turkey. The European Union and the United States consider it as a terrorist organization.

As of now, no entity has claimed responsibility for the blast.

A government official named Derya Yanik tweeted that two victims included a worker for a government ministry and his young daughter.

As the attack did much of destruction, world leaders offered their condolences to Turkey.

The US offered its sympathies by claiming to stand “shoulder-to-shoulder” with its NATO ally in “countering terrorism,” a statement by press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre released by the White House said.

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted in Turkish: “We share your pain… We are with you in the fight against terrorism.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, also followed the same and tweeted, “The pain of the friendly Turkish people is our pain.”

Countries like Pakistan, Italy and Greece also expressed their solidarity.

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