Five killed in Istanbul blast

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Ankara, March 19 (IANS) At least five people were killed and 36 injured in a suicide bombing that hit Turkey’s central Istanbul on Saturday.

The attack took place in front of the local governor’s office in Beyoglu, Hurriyat Daily News quoted Istanbul governor Vasip Sahin as saying.

Turkish Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu said 36 people, including 12 foreign nationals and a child, were injured.

As many as seven of the injured were in critical condition.

Three Israeli citizens were among the injured, Dogan News Agency reported.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said Israeli citizens were injured, but could not confirm the exact number.

The surrounding areas were cordoned off.

Germany, which kept its embassy in Ankara and consulate in Istanbul closed on March 17 and March 18 following an intelligence input of a terror attack threat, warned its citizens in Istanbul after the attack to stay in their hotels and follow the media for security updates.

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The attack in Istanbul came six days after a suicide bomb attack in Ankara killed 37 people.

The attack in Ankara was claimed by the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), a terror group linked to the outlawed PKK.

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