Turkey arrests three Russians after Istanbul suicide attack

Police in Mediterranean city of Antalya reportedly seize documents and CDs during a search of the premises where suspects were staying.

Alexandra Sims
Wednesday 13 January 2016 08:56

Police in Turkey have arrested three Russians with suspected links to Isis after a suicide attack in Istanbul killed 10 tourists.

Russia's Consulate General in the Turkish city of Antalya confirmed the trio had been detained, according to state news agency RIA. Ten other people are also understood to have been detained by Turkish police in the country's third largest city, Izmir, and in the central city of Konya.

Consul General Alexander Tolstopyatenko said, "The reasons for their detention are being clarified," according to the Tass news agency. It is not clear if the arrests are directly linked to the Istanbul bombing.

The Anadolu Agency said the suspects were allegedly in contact with ISIS fighters in conflict zones and had provided logistical support to the group.

Dogan News Agency said police in the Mediterranean city of Antalya also seized documents and CDs during a search of the premises where the suspects were staying.

Video shows aftermath of Istanbul explosion

It is not yet clear when on Wednesday the detentions occurred.

The Russian Foreign Ministry in November said 2,719 Russians had left for Syria to fight for Isis. Of these, 160 have been killed, 73 have returned and been tried and 36 have been arrested, according to Oleg Syromolotov, the deputy minister of foreign affairs.

One person has been detained in connection with the suicide bombing in Istanbul, which killed nine German tourists and one Peruvian tourist in the historic Sultanahmet Square on Tuesday, Turkey’s interior minister has said. Fifteen people were also hurt in the attack.

Efkan Ala said the suspect was detained late on Tuesday during a news conference with his German counterpart. He provided no further details.

Turkish media reports said police had raided a home in an affluent neighbourhood of Istanbul, detaining one woman suspected of having links to Isis.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, however Islamist, leftists and Kurdish militants, who are battling in south east Turkey, have all carried out attacks in the past.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said he offered condolences to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and vowed to continue Turkey’s fight against Isis at home and as part of the US-led coalition.

Turkey has become a national target for Isis, with two bombings this year blamed on the radical group, one in the town of Suruc near the Syrian border and the other in the capital Ankara.

Additional reporting from various agencies

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments