Istanbul attack: the bomber is Syrian and acted for the PKK, assures the police

The young woman arrested and accused of planting the bomb that killed six people in Istanbul on Sunday is of Syrian nationality and has admitted the facts, Turkish police said on Monday, quoted by local media. According to the police, she admitted having acted “on the orders of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party” (PKK) and received instructions to this effect in Kobané, in northeastern Syria.

Found thanks to CCTV footage

The young woman, Alham Albashir, was arrested with several other suspects in an apartment in Kucukcekmece, on the outskirts of Istanbul. According to Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, the suspect was about to “flee to Greece”. She was trained in the intelligence services of the PKK, Turkish media reported. She would have entered Turkey illegally via Afrine, a town in northeastern Syria controlled by Turkish soldiers and their Syrian counterparts, the police reported.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said Sunday that CCTV footage shows a “bag” on a bench at the scene of the attack. “A woman sat on a bench for 40 to 45 minutes, and a minute or two after she got up there was an explosion,” he said. “Either this bag contained a timer or someone activated it remotely,” he added. Turkish police said on Monday that the explosive used in the attack was “high-powered TNT”.

46 people now arrested

Süleyman Soylu, who visited the scene of the carnage again on Monday, announced that 46 people have now been arrested, the day after the attack which hit Istiklal Street, one of the busiest arteries in Istanbul. , in the middle of Sunday afternoon. “Operations continue” to arrest other suspects, said Mr. Soylu. “They wanted to send us a message, we received it and we will respond to it in the strongest possible way,” he said.

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