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Greek Woman Among the Injured in Istanbul Bomb Attack

Explosion in Istanbul
Explosion in Istanbul. Credit: Ozge Tore / Twitter

A Greek woman was among those injured at the Istanbul bomb attack on Sunday which claimed the lives of at least eight people. Dozens were injured.

The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the woman whose identity has not been revealed is slightly wounded from the explosion at the busy Istiklal Street that leads to Taksim Square.

She is receiving treatment at a local hospital for injuries caused by broken glass, the Ministry said and added that her life is not in danger.

Istanbul is among the top foreign destinations for Greek tourists.

Turkey blames Kurdish separatists for Istanbul bomb attack

Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said initial findings showed the PKK Kurdish separatist group was behind Sunday’s attack, though no organization has yet claimed responsibility. He promised Turkey would “retaliate soon” against whoever carried out the bombing.

President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called it a “treacherous attack” that had the “smell of terrorism,” though he did not give any further details.

Turkish police have arrested forty-six people, including the person who left the bomb that caused the explosion.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag told A Haber television later on Sunday that a woman was seen sitting on one of the benches on Istiklal Avenue for more than forty minutes.

The explosion occurred just minutes after she got up, he said.

“There are two possibilities,” he told A Haber. “There’s either a mechanism placed in this bag and it explodes, or someone remotely explodes [it].”

Pictures of the woman suspected to be behind the bombing have been circulating in Turkish media.

In initial questioning, the woman said she was trained by Kurdish militants in Syria and entered Turkey through northwest Syria’s Afrin region, the police said.

Television news reports also showed images of the woman leaving a package below a raised flower bed on Istiklal, which has a tram-line running the length of the street.

Istanbul and other Turkish cities have been targeted in the past by Kurdish separatists, ISIL (ISIS), and other groups, including in a series of attacks in 2015 and 2016.

These include twin bombings outside an Istanbul football stadium in December 2016 that killed 38 people and wounded 155.

The attack was claimed by an offshoot of the PKK, which has kept up a campaign for Kurdish self-rule in southeastern Turkey since the 1980s and is designated as a terrorist group by Turkey, the European Union, and the United States.

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