The state-run Anadolu News Agency reported that Turkish security forces had arrested a wanted suspect in relation to the deadly attack in Istanbul during an operation inside aarea controlled by Turkey in northwestern Syria.
More suspects arrested after the bombing will appear before court officials on Thursday to face possible charges or be released.
Turkish police arrested the suspect, known by his nom de guerre “Hussam”, late Wednesday evening in the Syrian city of Azaz, which is currently under the control of the Turkish-backed Syrian opposition, Anadolu News Agency reported. . He was taken to Istanbul for interrogation.
His arrest brought the number of suspects detained to 51 in relation to the attack.
Sunday’s blast on Istanbul’s bustling Istiklal Street, a popular boulevard lined with shops and restaurants, killed six people, including two children.
Dozens of others were injured in the attack, which was a stark reminder of the bombings of Turkish cities between 2015 and 2017 that shook Turks’ sense of security.
Turkish authorities attributed the attack to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), as well as affiliated Syrian Kurdish groups. But Kurdish groups have denied any role.
Anadolu agency said Hussam was accused of aiding and abetting a Syrian woman accused of leaving a TNT bomb on Istiklal Street. Police said the woman, identified as Ahlam al-Bashir, illegally crossed the border into Turkey from Syria and confessed to carrying out the attack.
Anadolu said Ahlam al-Bashir and 49 others were brought in in a court in Istanbul today, Thursday, to be questioned by court officials, following routine medical tests.
The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) led an armed insurrection in Turkey since 1984. Since then the conflict has claimed tens of thousands of lives.
Both Ankara and Washington consider the PKK a terrorist organization, but differ on the status of Syrian Kurdish groups, which have allied with the United States in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria.
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