- 11 dead, 36 wounded. Seven police among victims, and four civilians – city governor
- suspected car bomb detonated by remote device targeting police vehicle
- blast occurred near Istanbul University and Grand Bazaar
Amateur video filmed in a nearby gallery captured the aftermath of Tuesday morning’s bomb attack on a police bus in Istanbul which killed at least 11 people and wounded 36, according to the city governor.
One witness said the impact was like an earthquake.
The blast happened during rush hour in the central district of Vezneciler, near the main tourist area and Istanbul University. It is the fourth major bombing in Turkey’s biggest city this year.
Seven of those killed were police officers, said Governor Vasip Sahin, with four civilian fatalities. Reports suggest a car packed with explosives was detonated as police buses passed by, leaving little but mangled wreckage.
The bus that bore the brunt of the explosion was tipped onto its roof; a second bus was also damaged.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke after visiting the injured in hospital, where three of those hurt are in a critical condition.
“We make no distinction whether they attack civilians or police, or security personnel. At the end of the day those who become martyrs are human beings. These attacks are against humanity. (…) We can not forgive this, there’s no way it can be forgiven. So we will continue to fight against these terrorists, tirelessly, without giving up,” the president told reporters.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. The country has been on alert after a spate of bombings.
The outlawed Kurdish militant group the PKK said it carried out a car bomb attack last month in Istanbul that wounded seven people.
A Kurdish group also claimed two car bombings in Ankara – while radical leftist groups have also been blamed for attacks.
With the Syrian civil war across the border, Turkish security forces are continuing operations in the Kurdish areas in the south-east of the country. Turkey is also part of the US-led coaliton against ISIL and allows fighter jets to use one of its air bases to launch raids.
Advice for tourists
Around 2,500,000 British tourists visit Turkey every year. The British Foreign Office has updated its travel advice for tourists travelling to the country.
“On 7 June 2016, there was an explosion in the Vezneciler area of Istanbul. Vezneciler metro station and roads around the area have been closed. If you’re in the area, follow the advice of local security authorities.”
It added that it advises against “all travel to within 10 km of the border with Syria and to the city of Diyarbakir.”
The President of the European Parliament has expressed condolences for the victims on Twitter.
Strongly condemn heinous #Istanbul terror attack. My condolences to families, friends of victims & Istanbul police forces targeted by attack— EP President (@EP_President) June 7, 2016