By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
Turkish authorities said Monday that those detained included a Syrian woman who allegedly planted the bomb following training by Kurdish militants. They are not ruling out she had ties to the so-called Islamic State (IS) terror group.
Interior minister Suleyman Soylu said she “left the bomb that caused the explosion” on a main thoroughfare in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city.
No group has claimed responsibility so far for Sunday’s blast on the busy pedestrian Istiklal Avenue, and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) denied involvement in it.
The attack sparked concerns that more such incidents could occur ahead of elections set for June 2023. Polls suggest the hardline President Tayyip Erdogan could lose after two decades in power.
Istanbul has been attacked in the past by Kurdish, Islamist, and leftist militants.
The PKK has led an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984, and more than 40,000 people have been killed in clashes. It is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union, and the United States.
“It has been a disaster,” said Lokman Kalkan, sweeping shattered glass and bloodstains from the floor outside his suitcases shop near the blast site. “This is all that happened. People were fighting for their lives.”
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