Two more suspects detained over bombing in Istanbul

Two more suspects detained over bombing in Istanbul
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Two people who helped the suspected bomber cross the border were detained as police continued to seek six more who were also involved in the blast

Two more suspects were detained and six more were being sought who were involved in a bombing in busy Istiklal Street of Istanbul that killed six people and wounded 80, police said on Saturday.

Earlier, a Turkish court ordered the pre-trial detention of 17 people suspected of being involved in the explosion, who were among a group of 51 people rounded up by the Istanbul police after the attack.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blast, but Turkish government quickly blamed Kurdish militants for the blast and police have said the suspected bomber was trained by Kurdish militants in Syria.

Turkish authorities say suspected bomber Ahlam Albashir told police and prosecutors that she had arrived in Turkey in July after taking orders from the YPG (People’s Protective Unmits). Albashir was also quoted as saying that she did not know what was in the bag that she was told to leave at the scene of the explosion, and that it was given to her by another suspect who later fled Turkey.

The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which includes the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, have denied involvement.

One suspect who hosted the bomber in Istanbul also denied links to the PKK saying his brother fought with the Syrian National Army (SNA)

The attack came as a shocking reminder of bombings that hit Turkish cities between 2015 and 2017, shattering the public’s sense of security.

Back in 2015, a series of attacks by Islamic State and Kurdish militants in the run up to a November vote made Erdogan's security-themed campaign resonate with voters, leading to a comfortable win by his AKP (Justice and Development Party.)