The moment a suspected Islamic State suicide bomber killed at least 10 people in an attack in the Turkish city of Istanbul was captured on one tourist’s camera.
Eight Germans and a Peruvian are killed during a suicide attack in an area popular with visitors, officials confirm.
Eight Germans and a Peruvian man have been confirmed as the victims of the blast in Sultanahmet Square, next to the city’s famous Blue Mosque landmark.
Another 15 people, including nine Germans, were injured in the attack, which happened at 10.20am local time (8.20am UK time).
The tourist, who happened to be filming at the site when the suicide bomber struck, survived the attack unharmed. Germany has warned its citizens to avoid crowded places away from tourist attractions in Istanbul, saying further violent clashes and “terrorist attacks” are expected across Turkey.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said the Germans involved were from a group travelling together, said: “Today Istanbul was hit; Paris has been hit, Tunisia has been hit, Ankara has been hit before.”International terrorism is once again showing its cruel and inhuman face today.”
Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the bomber, a 28-year-old Syrian national, was a suspected member of Islamic State.
The individual is thought to have recently crossed from Syria but was not on Turkey’s watch list.
He was identified from body parts at the scene. Six Germans, one Peruvian, a South Korean and a Norweigian are thought to be among the injured.
The Norwegian man, Salvation Army officer Jostein Nielsen, told Norway’s TV2 that he and his wife were sightseeing when the bomb went off.
“I first heard a bang that I think is what detonated the bomb,” the 59-year-old said. “After that came the real bang. I felt that my knee stopped working. There were human remains all over the place.”
Police sealed off the scene, which is near an obelisk in the area that is on the site of the ancient Roman hippodrome. No group has claimed responsibility, but Turkey has been the scene of numerous acts of terrorism in the past, including several claimed by al Qaeda-linked groups and Islamic State.
More than 30 people were killed in a suicide attack in the town of Suruc, near Turkey’s border with Syria, in July – an attack claimed by IS.
NATO member Turkey has been part of the coalition fighting IS in Syria since 2014, but is also conducting military operations against Kurdish groups it regards as terrorists.
The country’s President Recep Tayyip Ergogan said that Turkey is the first target of all terrorist groups in the region, as his country is fighting them all “equally”.