In Brief

Istanbul bomb blast kills 11 on second day of Ramadan

Suspicion falls on Kurdish militants after police bus is targeted during rush hour

110607-istanbul-bomb.jpg

At least 11 people have been killed and dozens more injured after a bus carrying Turkish police was hit by a car bomb in Istanbul this morning.

The blast took place during rush hour in the city's historic Beyazit centre, a popular tourist area.

Governor Vasip Sahin confirmed that seven police officers and four civilians were killed, with 36 others wounded. He warned that the death toll was likely to rise.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it was "unforgivable" to target officers whose jobs were to protect others.

"We shall continue our fight against terrorists tirelessly until the end," he said.

Foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also condemned the attack, pointing out that it had come on the second day of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. "They are cold-heartedly exploding bombs on a Ramadan day," he said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Suspicion has fallen on Islamic State, Kurdish militant groups and left-wing extremists, all of whom "have recently orchestrated attacks in Turkey", says The Independent

According to the BBC's Mark Lowen, the "most likely culprit" is the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has claimed previous attacks on security forces. A fragile ceasefire between Kurds and the government collapsed last July.

This is the fourth such attack in Istanbul this year but, as of this afternoon, authorities were refusing to comment on who may have been behind the attack and a news blackout had been imposed "preventing media from reporting details of the investigation", reports The Guardian.

Graphic created by Statista for The Week UK

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