2 Americans, 3 Others Killed by Suicide Bomber in Istanbul

At least 20 were injured
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 19, 2016 7:31 AM CDT
Updated Mar 19, 2016 4:17 PM CDT
Suicide Bomber Strikes Istanbul Tourist District
Forensic officials at the scene of an explosion] on a street in Istanbul, Turkey, Saturday, March 19, 2016.    (Emrah Gurel)

A suicide attacker detonated a bomb on Istanbul's main pedestrian shopping street on Saturday, killing five people, the AP reports. The White House announced that two of the dead were American citizens, though it didn't identify them, according to AFP. Twenty other people were injured in the attack. The attacker is among the dead. Governor Vasip Sahin said the explosion occurred outside a local government office on Istiklal Street, which is also home to cafes, restaurants, and foreign consulate buildings. Sahin said one of wounded victims died in hospital. The private Dogan news agency said at least three of the injured are Israeli nationals

Turkey was already on edge following two recent suicide car bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, which were claimed by a Kurdish militant group, which is an off-shoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK. The most recent attack, on March 13, targeted a line of bus stops on Ankara's busiest street and killed 37 including two bombers. "It was one loud explosion," Muhammed Fatur, a Syrian who works at a butcher shop near the scene of Saturday's explosion tells the AP. "Police came to the scene and sealed off the area." (Read more Istanbul stories.)

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