Suicide bomber attacks Istanbul, kills four

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Monday, March 21, 2016

At least four people were killed by a suicide bomb in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Saturday morning. The suicide bomber was a fifth death.

At least 36 people were injured, according to Turkish health minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu. Reports varied on how may injured were foreigners; Minister Müezzinoğlu identified the nationalities of twelve injured from Israel, Germany, Ireland, Iceland, Iran, and Dubai. The blast occurred prematurely, according to CNN Türk.

The attack took place on Istiklal Street, a popular pedestrian commercial street.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called the blast "inhumane," saying Turkey would continue to fight "centres of terrorism".

This is the third attack in Turkey in just over a month, following a car bomb that killed more than 30 people in Ankara, the capital of Turkey, six days earlier, and the bombing of a military convoy in mid-February.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey condemned the Ankara attack, saying, "Terror organisations and their pawns are targeting our innocent citizens in the most immoral and heartless way as they lose the fight against our security forces[...] Terror attacks — which intend to target the integrity of Turkey, unity and solidarity of our people — do not diminish our will to fight against terror, but further boost it."

The Ankara attack has since been claimed by a Kurdish military group, the Kurdish Freedom Falcons: "We claim the operation of March 13, 2016, at 6:45 p.m. in the heart of the Republic of Turkey".

The Kurdish Freedom Falcons are associated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). According to Reuters, violence has escalated in southeast of Turkey since the July collapse of the Turkey–PKK ceasefire.