ISTANBUL—A deadly suicide bombing ripped through Istanbul’s most popular pedestrian thoroughfare Saturday morning, Turkish officials said, stoking fears of mounting urban terrorism after back-to-back attacks on cities across Turkey.
At least four people were killed and 39 wounded in the explosion, including seven remain in critical condition, Istanbul Gov. Vasip Sahin said as quoted by Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
Twenty-four foreign nationals were wounded in the attack, including people from Israel, Germany, Iceland, Iran, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates, according to A Turkish Health Ministry report, it added.
The explosion took place at about 11 a.m. local time outside the district governor’s office on Istiklal Avenue in central Istanbul in an area popular with foreigner.
No one has claimed responsibility for the bombing. Turkish authorities have blamed Islamic State and Kurdish insurgents for seven major attacks since last summer. The political arm of Kurdish separatists, who carried out two strikes in Ankara since mid-February, said they didn’t know the perpetrator.
“Everything is being investigated in great detail,” Mr. Sahin said, declining to provide further details.
The attack appeared to target tourists in a lively area dotted with theaters, shops, bars and taverns that attract millions of locals and visitors daily. The neighborhood is also home to many mostly European diplomatic missions and residences, it added.
WSJ said, authorities deployed bomb squads, riot police and dozens of ambulances to the area, cordoning off Istiklal Avenue starting from Istanbul’s main Taksim Square. Helicopters hovered over the area, while security forces cleared people from the blast site as they swept the neighborhood for clues.