Bombs found at Istanbul shopping malls as Turkey probes for ISIL link in latest attack
Homemade explosive devices have been found in two shopping malls in Istanbul, days after a deadly suicide bombing in the city center and the attacks in Paris.
Passersby noticed the suspicious package at the shopping mall in Başakşehir, a western suburb of Istanbul, on Jan. 10. After police officers cordoned off the area, a bomb disposal team arrived in the scene and confirmed that the device was a "fragmentation bomb" reinforced with butane fuel refills, according to Doğan News Agency.
The security team defused the bomb and took it to the forensics laboratory for the investigation.
Meanwhile, butane fuel refills have been found in another shopping center in the nearby Sefaköy neighborhood. Police opted to detonate the relatively less damaging explosive, after cordoning off the area, Turkish media reported.
No one has claimed responsibility for the bombs so far.
Turkish authorities have been on alert since a female suicide bomber detonated herself at an Istanbul police station in the touristic area of Sultanahmet, killing a policeman on Jan. 6.
The outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) had initially claimed the suicide bombing, a week after it organized another attack on the city’s police. But it was revealed later that the suicide bomber was a Russian citizen of Daghestani origin, reportedly related with Islamist groups.
The far-left group retracted its claim of responsibility for the suicide bombing on Jan. 9, saying it had made a mistake because it was actively planning its own attack which "coincided with the Sultanahmet incident."
The latest incidents in Istanbul come at a time when the militant attacks in France have mobilized the international community on anti-terror efforts.
In the investigation for the Sultanahmet attack, Turkey is probing a possible link to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), while offering assistance to the French authorities for the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the violent incidents in Paris that followed it.
Click here to read today's column by Serkan Demirtaş: "Turkey probes for ISIL link in Istanbul attack."