A riot forces team was subject of a bomb attack at Istanbul's centrally located and popular Taksim Square on Sunday (31 October) at around 10.30 am. 17 civilians and 15 police officers were wounded in the attack.
The bomb detonated between the Republic Monument and the Waterworks Administration Building at the western side of the square. Two of the wounded police officers are in serious condition. Both policemen underwent surgery, one suffered severe injury at his eye, the other one at his head. Windows of nearby shops shattered due to the explosion.
The Istanbul Chief of Police, Hüseyin Çapkın, arrived at the scene half an hour later. He announced that the explosion was suspected to have been caused by a suicide bomber. The investigation is still being continued.
In a statement made to the journalists, Çapkın said, "We fiercely condemn [the attack]. This attack was carried out by a male who blew himself up".
Initially, Çapkın had talked about a total of 15 injured, among them six policemen. He said that another bomb had been found at the scene.
At midday, the Chief of Police made another announcement and corrected the initial figures. Accordingly, a total of 22 people were wounded, ten of which are police officers.
The wounded were taken to the Takism First Aid Hospital and the Şişli Children Hospital for medical treatment. At the scene of the explosion, a dead body was provisionally covered with pieces of paper. The body was lying right next to a heavy police minibus. A camping stove could be seen just a few yards away.
A team of explosives experts came to the scene at around 11.30 am and started an investigation. The square was widely sealed off with a security cordon reaching up to the Marmara Hotel all the way to the south-eastern side of the square. The team collected objects that were scattered all over the place. The bomb squad prepared the camping stove that was found close to place of the bomb attack for a controlled explosion since it was suspected to contain another detonator.
The bomb attack came on the last day of the unilateral ceasefire declared by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The so-called "no-action period" had been extended for one month on 30 September. (EÖ/VK)
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