World Bulletin/News Desk
A policeman has died in a suicide attack as a woman blew herself up in Istanbul's main tourist area Sultanahmet on Tuesday, according to officials.
Police officer Kenan Kumas has died at an Istanbul hospital, after suffering critical wounds in the suicide attack. Another policeman was also injured, but is not in a critical condition, according to Istanbul governor, Vasip Sahin.
Sultanahmet is a tourist hotspot in the historical peninsula where the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia Museum are located.
"We were shaken by a very loud blast. There were customers and everyone dropped to the floor," Kaan Koc, who works just across from the station, told broadcaster CNN Turk.
"A police officer came out of the station and fired into the air saying 'disperse, there is a suicide bomber, go inside'. Then we heard gun fire but we weren't sure who was shooting."
Windows were shattered and shutters hung unhinged from the yellow, three-storey tourist police station.
The woman entered the police station saying in English that she had lost her purse and then blew herself up, Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin told reporters at the scene. Her nationality and identity were unknown.
Bomb squads defused two bombs on the body of the female bomber who attacked a tourism police station, Turkish police said.
“Further damage was prevented thanks to the immediate action of our heroic police forces who put their lives on the line," Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said. "An expanded and detailed investigation will be conducted and when a tie to a (terrorist) organization is discovered, the necessary steps will be taken."
Davutoglu also said investigators are still trying to identify the bomber.
"At the time of the explosion, I was at a meeting at the Interior Ministry and have followed the developments minute by minute," Davutoglu added. "I wish God’s mercy upon our brother Kenan Kumas and my condolences to the family of our heroic police officer."
Istanbul's Governor Vasip Sahin said the English-speaking bomber entered into the police station and reported a missing wallet before blowing herself up.
Last week a 36-year-old man was arrested after throwing a grenade and firing at a police booth in front of Dolmabahce Palace, near the prime minister’s office in Besiktas.
The man was reportedly a member of far-leftist Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front, or DHKP-C.Last Mod: 06 Ocak 2015, 22:58