Press in Turkey have reported that the terrorist who killed 10 tourists in Istanbul entered the country as an asylum seeker. Most of the victims of the attack were German nationals.
According to Turkish media reports on Wednesday, the suicide bomber who killed 10 tourists in Istanbul was registered in Turkey as a Syrian refugee. Both the Dogan news agency and the Sabah daily said the attacker, who has been named as Nabil Fadli, had entered Turkey from Syria as a refugee on January 5.
The reports cited ongoing police investigations, and added that investigators had identified the 28-year-old Fadli from a finger found at the bomb site and matching it to the fingerprints that were taken when he registered for asylum. This is the reason for the swift identification of the attacker, wrote the Sabah daily.
Authorities round up dozens
Earlier on Wednesday, Turkish authorities announced that they had arrested one person in connection with the attack in the popular tourist area of Sultanahmet Square, home to the famous historic sites the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. Investigators have rounded up a further 68 individuals after the incident, but it was not clear how many were directly connected to the bombing
Loyal to the "Islamic State" (IS) terrorist group, Fadli detonated explosives near the ancient Egyptian Obelisk of Theodosius on Tuesday, making it the first time tourists have been deliberately targeted in Turkey following a string of IS-related attacks across the country over the last year.
Germany's interior minister Thomas de Maiziere called the tragedy "an attack against humanity," but said there was "no indication" Germans had been specifically targeted. All the same, the foreign ministry warned citizens to avoid going about in large groups near tourist attractions in Istanbul, and German travel giant TUI promised to switch, free of charge, the itineraries of customers who had booked trips to the city.
Alongside the Germans who perished, Peru also said one of its nationals had died in the bombing. A further 15 were wounded, mostly Germans but also Norwegians, Peruvians and at least one Turk.
es/jil (AFP, dpa)