Several injured in Istanbul suicide blast

A suicide bomber blew himself up near police watching over Istanbul's main square today, wounding 22 people, including 10 policemen, officials said.

Istanbul police chief Huseyin Capkin said the bomber tried but failed to get into parked police vans and detonated the bomb just outside the vehicle. Riot police are stationed at Taksim Square in case of demonstrations.

Ten police officers and 12 passers-by were injured in the attack, Istanbul's governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu said.

Capkin said at least two of the injured were in serious condition.

"The incident is under investigation. It's a suicide bombing," Capkin told reporters at the scene, adding that the bomber had died at the scene.

Capkin said bomb squads discovered more devices at the scene and were working to defuse them.

There was no immediate responsibility claim for the attack, which occurred as the city was preparing to hold Republic Day parades that were originally planned for Friday but were delayed due to heavy rain.

Kurdish rebels fighting for autonomy in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast have carried out suicide bombings in the past, as have radical leftist groups and Islamic militants. A unilateral cease-fire announced by the Kurdish rebels is about to end.

Police sealed off all roads leading to the square and forensic teams in blue coveralls were walking in line, combing the area for pieces of debris and other evidence. Some were seen walking around the ledge of a statue at the square centre.

"It was a terrifying, very loud explosion," said Mehmet Toz who was in the square at the time of the blast. "Everyone started to run around, people fell on the ground. There was panic, we couldn't make out what had happened."

Muammer Ulutas, who works at a cafe near the square said a policeman fired four rounds of shots at the suicide bomber after he had blown himself up.

"He fired the shots at the suicide bomber, I heard four gunshots," he said.

The suicide bomber was lying on the ground and appeared to be in his early 20s, Ulutas said.

There have been two previous suicide bomb attacks on police near Taksim, in 1999 and 2001, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported. The first wounded three police officers and 10 other people. The second killed two police officers.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk