Car detonated by suicide bomber while on the move in June 7 Istanbul attack

Car detonated by suicide bomber while on the move in June 7 Istanbul attack

Çetin Aydın – ISTANBUL
Car detonated by suicide bomber while on the move in June 7 Istanbul attack

AFP photo

The suicide bomber who detonated the bomb-laden car which was used in the deadly attack in the central Vezneciler neighborhood of Istanbul on June 7 was on the move at the time of the attack, new details have revealed, which refute previous reports suggesting the car had been detonated remotely.

According to new details released by the police, the Renault Clio model car plated 34 LRK 76 was rented from a car renter identified as M.B. in the Bağcılar district of Istanbul on May 27. The car was immediately taken to the Kızıltepe district of the southeastern province of Mardin where around 400 kilograms of plastic explosives were loaded inside. Upon its return, the car was parked in the Mercan multistory car park in the Eminönü district near the scene of the attack before being removed five days before the attack.

Surveillance footage showed the suspects brought the bomb-laden car to Vezneciler on June 7. While one of the suspects left the scene, the suicide bomber waited in the car on the side of the road. As anti-riot police vehicles which were heading to Istanbul University for regular duty began to arrive, the bomber tried to navigate the car between two police vehicles. It later moved ahead of a police vehicle and detonated the car as the driver of the police vehicle did not allow its interpolation attempts.

Earlier reports had suggested that the bomb-laden car had been detonated by remote control. According to initial reports, the car was parked in the Mercan multi-story car park between May 29 and June 2 at a cost of 72 Turkish Liras. It was also taken to an unknown location before finally being parked at Vezneciler on the day of the attack. 

Meanwhile, three suspects involved in the June 7 attack were also identified. The interrogation of four suspects, including M.B., was also ongoing, as police have been working to identify the suicide bomber.

According to Habertürk, a veiled woman wearing sunglasses brought the bomb-laden car to the scene and was the one who detonated it. Two large packages were in the car’s back seat, the report added.

In another report by daily Sabah, two militants, one of whom was a woman, carried out the car bomb attack. It said Istanbul counter-terrorism police identified two suspects inside the car as L.Ç. and U.B. after examining video from surveillance cameras.

The car bomb targeting a police vehicle in Vezneciler during the morning rush hour killed 11 people, six of whom were police officers, while wounding 36 others on June 7.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have staged similar attacks on security forces before, including one last month in Istanbul. 

Turkey has suffered a spate of bombings this year, including two suicide attacks in tourist areas of Istanbul blamed on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, and two car bombings in the capital, Ankara, which were claimed by an offshoot of the PKK, the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK).