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Fatal bomb blast in Istanbul near Blue Mosque

Suspected terrorist explosion kills ten in historic Sultanahmet

by Javier Pes  |  12 January 2016
Fatal bomb blast in Istanbul near Blue Mosque
Turkish police block access to the Blue Mosque area on 12 January after a blast in Istanbul's tourist hub of Sultanahmet left 10 people dead. Photo: OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images
Ten people have been confirmed dead after a bomb exploded in Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet area this morning, Tuesday 12 January. The explosion is reported to have occurred close to the Obelisk of Theodosius, which is near the Blue Mosque and the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts. The area includes several of the city's most-visited sites and foreign tourists are reported to be among the casualties. Hagia Sophia, the former church turned mosque that is now a museum is within walking distance. Turkey's President Recep Erdogan has blamed the attack on a "Syrian suicide bomber”, the BBC reports. German tourists have been warned by their government to avoid busy places in the city in case of further attacks.

While little information has been emerging in the Turkish press due to an initial news blackout, the curator Vasif Kortun, who runs the Istanbul-based art institution Salt, wrote on Facebook: "Sadly, a bomb explodes in the heart of historical peninsula, right on the Hippodrome. Lives lost, many wounded."

Update: Eight German tourists have been confirmed among the dead in the attack that the Turkish government is blaming on Islamist extremists of so-called Isil 

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