Intelligence and security

International News: Explosion in Istanbul and arrests in Germany

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 15.00.44

Image from BBC News

International news Tuesday 12th January 2016:

  • Explosion in Sultanahmet Square – 10 people confirmed dead
  • German police have arrested 211 people after violence in Leipzig
  • US-led coalition bombs ISIS bank

 

Istanbul

An explosion near the Blue Mosque in Istanbul has killed ten people and wounded fifteen.

Eyewitness Murat Manaz told the BBC:

It was a suicide bomb. I went there and saw it and came back to the hotel. There was chaos. Everybody was running somewhere. Policemen did not see this coming. They were distressed but at the same time they were trying to evacuate the area because they said there was a possibility that a second bomb could go off.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Numan Kurtulmus, has confirmed that it was a Syrian national who carried out the suicide bomb attack.

The attack took place in the Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, an area popular with tourists due to the close proximity of many mosques.

Sources state that many of those killed and injured are foreigners.

It is suspected that most of the dead are German, as a German tourist group were sited close to the blast.

It is only three months since Turkey experienced a multiple bomb attack in the capital Ankara where 102 were killed and more than 400 injured. 

Leipzig

Police in Leipzig have made two hundred and eleven arrests after far-right supporters destroyed vehicles and damaged buildings on Monday.

Anger and unrest was sparked after the German Government’s announcement that the majority of the perpetrators of the sexual attacks in Cologne on New Years Eve were from a migrant background.

Leipzig members of the ‘Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West’ (Pegida) began a peaceful march through the city, protesting against Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door policy on refugees.

A group of far-right extremist hijacked the peaceful protest in Leipzig vandalising homes and setting fire to cars, leading to the arrests today.

A counter rally was also held opposing Pegida on Monday evening.

This afternoon the German Government has announced that they will make it easier to strip sex attackers of refugee status.

ISIS bank bombed 

A US official told the BBC that on Monday a coalition air strike bombed a bank used by ISIS in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

The US official estimated that the bombing destroyed millions of dollars earned by ISIS through oil sales, extortion and looting.

At least five people were killed in Monday’s strike.

U.S. Commanders say they are willing to sacrifice civilians in order to hit significant targets.

 

By Emma Roberts & Louise Tjaerandsen

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