Istanbul – At least ten people were killed and fifteen others injured in a suicide blast in a tourist area of Istanbul on Tuesday.
According to Turkish media reports, the explosion took place in Sultanahmet Square, a prominent place for tourists in Turkey, at about 10:00 am local time.
The intensity of the blast was tremendously high as its echo was heard more than a mile away.
In a statement, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said that the bomber was a Syrian national, born in 1988. He said most of the victims were foreigners.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan strongly condemned the blast and said Turkey is the “top target for all terrorist groups in the region”, adding his country is “fighting against all of them equally.”
Turkish police sealed the area following the explosion launched a search operation amid fear of a second blast.
The injured were shifted to a local hospital, where some of them are said to be in critical condition.
No group has claimed the responsibility for the attack so far, but the suspension immediately fell on Daesh, which had taken credit for the suicide bombing in capital Ankara last year that killed 130 people.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has summoned an emergency meeting of security officials in Ankara in the wake of blast.