Four people have been detained in connection with a car bomb attack targeting a police bus that killed 11 people Tuesday in Istanbul, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu agency reported, citing police officials.
The blast, in the Beyazit neighborhood of Istanbul’s historic Fatih district, occurred about 8.40 a.m. local time during morning rush hour.
It killed seven police officers and four civilians, and left 36 people injured, three of them critically, Istanbul Gov. Vasip Sahin told reporters.
Local media reported that the blast was remotely detonated as the bus, carrying a group of riot police, passed. No group has taken responsibility for the bombing.
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The area surrounding the explosion — a busy neighborhood that includes the city’s landmark Beyazit Square, the main Istanbul University campus and the Vezneciler metro station — was evacuated following the blast.
Images from the site of the explosion showed visible damage to surrounding buildings, with windows blown out and glass strewn across the street.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who visited some of the wounded in the hospital, offered his condolences and said the attack was unforgivable.
“Let me be clear, terrorist organizations distinguishing between civilians, soldiers and police does not mean anything to us. The end target is always human beings,” he said.
“The mission of our soldiers, our police and our city guards is to protect our lives and our property. It is unacceptable that these people are targeted. We will continue our fight against terrorism fearlessly,” he said.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, who assumed office last month, condemned the attackers for killing innocents during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
He told reporters that those responsible had “once again shown that they are the enemy of human values,” Turkey’s Anadolu state news agency reported.
The United States, France and Germany were quick to condemn the attack, with French President Francois Hollande saying in a statement that “this intolerable act of violence must more than ever confirm our mutual determination to fight all forms of terrorism.”
The U.S. Embassy in Turkey said on Twitter that it would “continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Turkey in the fight against terrorism.”