32 injured in Istanbul suicide attack

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October 31, 2010 18:15

An aerial view of the scene of a suspected suicide bombing near Istanbul's Taksim Square. Photo - Reuters

Who: Turkish police and civilians. Attackers remain unknown at this point.

What: A suicide bomber wounded 32 people including police gathered in a main landmark. Among those wounded, 17 are civilians while 15 belong to the police force, two of whom are said to be in a serious condition. “It was a suicide bomb and it appears as if the bomber blew himself up. It appears to be a male body,” Huseyin Capkin, the police chief, said.

Where: The bomber struck near police buses parked close to Teksim Square, a monument commemorating Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of Turkish Republic. It is also a tourist spot and transport hub surrounded by restaurants, shops and hotels, at the heart of modern Istanbul.

When: The attack took place at 10:40 on Sunday, 31 October.

Why: Turkish security agencies recently arrested several people on suspicion of links with Al-Qaeda. Anatolia news agency reported police in Istanbul and other cities also detained 16 members of a leftist militant organisation, the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C). The report made no connection with the Istanbul attack, but in 2001 a DHKP/C suicide bomber killed two people in Taksim Square. Al-Qaeda suicide bombers carried out a series of attacks in Istanbul in November 2003 that killed 62 people and wounded hundreds.

How: Reports coming from Istanbul said police are looking for another bomber who did not detonate his explosives. Some buildings around Taksim Square were also damaged in the blast. “It was a terrifying, very loud explosion,” Mehmet Toz, who was in the square at the time of the blast, said. “Everyone started to run around, people fell on the ground. There was panic, we couldn’t make out what had happened.”

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