Istanbul suicide bombers kill waiter in botched attack

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The Independent Online

A bomb attack in Istanbul on Tuesday may have been carried out by Islamist militants, but was too simplistic to be the work of al-Qa'ida, Turkish officials said yesterday.

A bomb attack in Istanbul on Tuesday may have been carried out by Islamist militants, but was too simplistic to be the work of al-Qa'ida, Turkish officials said yesterday.

Two suicide bombers opened fire on diners at a Masonic lodge, then set off rudimentary explosives. They killed a waiter and wounded five others. One attacker died from the blast while the other lost an arm and a hand, and suffered severe abdominal injuries.

The attack initially evoked memories of four suicide bombings in Istanbul in November. But the governor of Istanbul, Muammer Guler, said yesterday that the attack bore little resemblance to last year's intricately planned truck bombings, blamed on al-Qa'ida. Mr Guler said: "The style of the attack, the weapons and bombs that were used ... are very different [from the November attacks]."

He added: "It's been confirmed there were 35 to 40 people inside [the lodge]. Only five people sitting at the table close to the window were injured."

Mr Guler blamed the attacks on "a religious terrorist organisation", but did not cite any group.Officials could not immediately confirm the nationality or identity of the surviving attacker, although he gave his name as Abdullah Islam. (AP)

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