German interior minister heads to Istanbul after attack

AFP , Wednesday 13 Jan 2016

German Interior minister & Justice minister
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, left, and Justice Minister Heiko Maas arrive for a statement on a planned reform of the laws on deportation and sexual offenses at the Reichstag Building, in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016 (Photo: AP)

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere will fly to Istanbul on Wednesday following a suicide bomb attack there that killed 10 tourists, most of them Germans, his ministry said.

De Maiziere will visit the site of the attack and then confer with Turkish officials, which will be followed by a press conference, a ministry spokesman said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at least eight Germans were amongst the dead in Tuesday's attack and Berlin warned its nationals to keep away from public places and tourist attractions.

Nine Germans were among the 15 injured.

The assault took place near the famous Blue Mosque in Sultanahmet, a district home to Istanbul's biggest concentration of historic monuments.

It is the first time that any recent attack in Turkey had specifically targeted tourists.

The Turkish government has blamed it on Islamic State militnts (ISIS), who are also suspected of carrying out a double suicide bombing in October in Ankara, the Turkish capital, that killed more than 100 people.

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