Number of Germans killed in Istanbul bombing up to 10
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Number of Germans killed in Istanbul bombing up to 10

Berlin recently joined anti-IS coalition, but interior minister says no indication suicide bombing targeted Germans

Turkish police stand guard next to ambulances as they block access to the Blue Mosque area after a suicide bombing in Istanbul's tourist hub of Sultanahmet on January 12, 2016, in which 10 German tourists were killed. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)
Turkish police stand guard next to ambulances as they block access to the Blue Mosque area after a suicide bombing in Istanbul's tourist hub of Sultanahmet on January 12, 2016, in which 10 German tourists were killed. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)

Ten Germans died in the suicide bombing that ripped through the historic heart of Istanbul, Germany’s foreign ministry said Wednesday.

“I must relay the sad news that we now have 10 dead Germans among the victims” from Tuesday’s attack, ministry spokeswoman Sawsan Chebli told reporters.

She said seven wounded Germans were being treated in hospital in Istanbul, five of them in intensive care.

Officials initially said that at least eight Germans were among the dead in the explosion.

Information released by regional authorities shows that the victims came from across Germany and included two couples.

Earlier, Germany’s interior minister said there are no indications so far that Germans were specifically targeted in the attack in Istanbul.

Germany has taken a noncombat role in the international military effort against the Islamic State group, which Turkey has accused of carrying out the suicide bombing. German reconnaissance planes are stationed at the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey. They flew their first missions last week.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said during a visit to Istanbul Wednesday: “According to the investigations so far, there are no indications that the attack was directed specifically against Germans, and so there can’t be a connection to our contribution to the fight against international terrorism.”

Top German and Turkish officials already were scheduled to meet in Berlin next week to discuss Europe’s migrant crisis. De Maiziere said those talks will also address “the determined fight against terrorism.”

Also Wednesday, Pope Francis invited the faithful to pray for the victims of the bombing. During his weekly audience, Francis asked God to “give eternal peace to the dead, comfort to the relatives, determined solidarity to the entire society and to convert the hearts of the violent.” About 6,000 faithful packed the Paul VI audience hall.

Turkey’s Interior Minister Efkan Ala said one person was detained in connection with the bombing. He didn’t provide further details.

Turkish media reports said police had raided a home in an affluent neighborhood of Istanbul, detaining one woman suspected of having links to the Islamic State group.

AP and AFP contributed to this report.

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