A woman blew herself up Wednesday near the Grand Mosque in Turkey’s major manufacturing hub of Bursa, officials said, injuring at least 10 people in the latest attack to hit Turkey as it grapples with dual threats from Islamic State and Kurdish separatists.
The attacker, identified by Turkish officials as a young woman who died at the scene, carried out the bombing in the busy bazaar outside Bursa’s 14th-century Grand Mosque, which is one the city’s biggest tourist attractions.
The attack was the fifth bombing targeting a major metropolitan area in Turkey this year, and it came less than 24 hours after the U.S. Embassy in Turkey issued a public warning that there were serious concerns about terrorist attacks at popular tourist sites around Turkey.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that investigators were working to figure out who was responsible for the bombing.
“These terror attacks won’t lead Turkey to step back from its decisive attitude towards fighting terrorism,” Mr. Davutoglu said in a late night press conference in Ankara, the country’s capital. “We will maintain the most decisive attitude towards terrorism.”
Bursa, which served as the second capital of the Ottoman Empire, is a popular stop for tourists and lies about 100 miles south of Istanbul, across the Marmara Sea.
Turkey has stepped up security across the country in recent weeks amid persistent concerns about militant attacks.
Last month, a suspected Islamic State suicide bomber killed three Israelis and an Iranian walking on Istanbul’s busiest pedestrian mall, an attack that prompted Israel to urge its citizens to immediately leave Turkey. That same week, a Kurdish car bomber hit central Ankara, killing at least 35 people.
Wednesday’s attack came as the Turkish military is stepping up its efforts to clamp down on Islamic State’s main route out of Syria. On Tuesday, Turkey and the U.S. said they were sending more military personnel and advanced weaponry to the Turkey-Syria border to help Syrian rebels struggling to push Islamic State out of key battlefields.
At the same time, Turkey is entangled in a protracted conflict with Kurdish insurgents in southeast Turkey who are fighting for autonomy and increased rights.
While most of the fighting has been confined to Kurdish majority areas near Turkey’s borders with Syria and Iraq, Kurdish separatists extended their fight to Ankara in February by targeting a convoy of buses carrying Turkish military personnel home for the day. A small Kurdish splinter group claimed responsibility for the car bombing, which killed 30 people, including the attacker.
In January, another suspected Islamic State suicide bomber killed 13 German tourists gathered in the heart of Istanbul’s tourist quarter.
The increasing threats prompted the U.S. government last month to order more than 650 relatives of American personnel working in Turkey to leave the country. The U.S. government’s steps have been closely watched in Turkey. In February, the U.S. Embassy issued a warning about a possible attack in Ankara two days before the first Kurdish car bombing.
In Ankara, Mr. Davutoglu criticized America for issuing the alerts. “Such kind of warnings unfortunately psychologically lead to unnecessary concern,” he said. “Terror is a global threat.”
Posted by Women Against Shariah on Wednesday, April 27, 2016