White House: 2 Americans killed in Istanbul bombing

APTOPIX Turkey Explosion_277341

Emergency services attend the scene of an explosion on a street in Istanbul, Turkey, Saturday, March 19, 2016. An explosion on Istanbul’s main pedestrian shopping street on Saturday has killed a number of people and injured over a dozen others. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The Latest on Turkish explosion (all times local):

10 p.m.

The White House says two Americans were among those killed in a suicide attack in Istanbul. Their identities were not released.

Ned Price, a spokesman for the National Security Council, in a statement Saturday condemned the “heinous attack” and said the U.S. remains steadfast in support of Turkey, its NATO ally.

He says the U.S. remains in close touch with Turkish authorities. He offered thoughts and prayers to the families of those who were killed or wounded.

Price says these repeated acts of terrorism in Turkey must come to an end.

Two Israelis and one Iranian citizen were also killed in Saturday’s attack on Istanbul’s main pedestrian shopping street.

It was the sixth suicide bombing in Turkey in the past year.

9 p.m.

An Israeli official has confirmed that a second Israeli citizen is among the victims of the suicide attack in Istanbul, which killed five people including the bomber.

Israeli Foreign ministry spokesman Alon Lavi said Saturday: “Sadly, we can confirm two dead Israelis.”

Earlier, Iranian officials also said that an Iranian man was among the dead.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said officials were still trying to determine whether the attack targeted specifically targeted Israeli nationals.

“We are trying to clarify with intelligence, and we have no confirmation for this now, that this terror attack was directed against Israelis,” Netanyahu said.

8:11 p.m.

Turkish media reports say three Israelis and an Iranian national were killed in the suicide attack in Istanbul.

The private Dogan news agency on Saturday identified the victims as a woman and two men from Israel, and an Iranian aged 31. The agency did not cite a source for the report, which was also carried by other media organizations.

A Turkish official would not immediately confirm the report, saying authorities were still trying to confirm the victims’ identities.

Earlier, an Israeli official confirmed that an Israeli was among the victims.

7:20 p.m.

The United States says it “stands in solidarity” with Turkey in combating “the common threat of terrorism.”

U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby says the attack is the latest in a series of what he describes as “indefensible violence targeting innocent people” throughout Turkey.

Kirby says in a statement that “these acts of terrorism only reinforce our determination to support all those across the region working to promote peace and reconciliation.”

6 p.m.

An Israeli official says one of the victims who died in the suicide bombing attack in Istanbul was an Israeli citizen.

Eli Bin, the head of Israel’s rescue service MDA, told Channel 2 TV on Saturday: “There is one Israeli killed whose family has been notified.”

Turkey’s private Dogan news agency said the Israeli citizen who died was a woman, but did not provide further details.

Bin also said 10 Israelis were wounded in the attack on Istanbul’s busiest pedestrian street.

An MDA ambulance plane would leave for Istanbul in next hour, he said.

5:25 p.m.

NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has condemned the suicide bomb attack in Istanbul which killed at least four people.

Jens Stoltenberg said Saturday’s attack was “yet another terrorist outrage targeting innocent civilians and our ally Turkey.”

The attack injured 36 other people, including 12 foreign nationals.

A senior government official told the AP that authorities suspect that either Kurdish rebels or the Islamic State group is behind the attack.

Stoltenberg said: “There can be no justification for terrorism. NATO allies stand with Turkey, united in our determination to fight terrorism in all its forms.”

12:45 p.m.

Istanbul’s governor says one person who was severely wounded in the suicide attack in the city has died, raising the death toll to five. Vasip Sahin says the injured person died in hospital on Saturday following the explosion on Istanbul’s busiest pedestrian street.

12:10 p.m.

Istanbul’s governor says four people were killed in a suicide bomb attack in the city. The governor, Vasip Sahin, also says 20 people were injured, including three in serious condition.

11:50 a.m.

The private Dogan news agency says at least three people have been killed in the explosion on a busy pedestrian street in Istanbul. The agency said 10 people were injured and taken to hospitals. News reports say the explosion is believed to be caused by a suicide bomber.

11:30 a.m.

An explosion on Istanbul’s main pedestrian shopping street on Saturday has injured at least two people, Turkish media reports say. The Dogan news agency says the attack is believed to be a suicide bombing and injured at least five people.

The state-run Anadolu Agency reports that ambulances were responding to the explosion on Istiklal Street, which is also home to cafes, restaurants and foreign consulate buildings. Private NTV television said the explosion occurred outside a shopping mall.

The explosion comes as Turkey is on edge following two recent suicide bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara which were claimed by a Kurdish militant group, that is an off-shoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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