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Suicide bomber strikes central Istanbul

A suicide bomb attack at a busy shopping area in the Turkish city of Istanbul has killed at least four people, officials say.

Medics rushed to try to help a wounded man
Medics rushed to try to help a wounded man

Three Israelis and an Iranian died, Turkish media reports. Another 36 people were injured in the blast near a government building on Istiklal Street.

No-one has admitted carrying out the attack, the latest in recent months.

The Turkish government has blamed Kurdish militants for previous attacks and has retaliated against them.

Saturday’s attack in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, occurred at about 11:00 local time (09:00 GMT).

Uwes Shehadeh was some 500m (1,640ft) away when he heard “a horrific and horrible noise”.

“People didn’t know what was going on. It was very chaotic. Everyone was screaming and running away,” he told the BBC.

“Istanbul is on high alert and people are very worried as to what will happen next.”

Eleven Israelis were among the injured. Two Irish citizens, one national each from Germany, Iceland, Dubai and Iran were also wounded.

Both the so-called Islamic State (IS) and Kurdish militants have claimed recent attacks in Turkey.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said terror groups are targeting civilians because they are losing their struggle against Turkish security forces.

Turkey is part of the US-led coalition against IS and allows coalition planes to use its air base at Incirlik for raids on Iraq and Syria. BBC

Recent attacks in Turkey

  • March 2016: 35 people killed by Kurdish militants in Ankara
  • February 2016: 28 killed in military convoy in Ankara
  • January 2016: 12 German tourists are killed in a suspected IS suicide bombing in Istanbul
  • October 2015: More than 100 people are killed in a double suicide bombing at a Kurdish peace rally in Ankara
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