Four detained after car bomb kills 11 in Istanbul, including seven officers

Four-detained-after-car-bomb-kills-11-in-Istanbul-including-seven-officers.  ISTANBUL, Turkey,  Four people have been detained Tuesday after a car bomb attack targeting a police bus killed 11 people, including seven police officers, authorities said.

At least seven police officers were among the 11 dead Tuesday when a remote-controlled bomb detonated in a popular tourist area of Istanbul. File Photo by Ali Turkel/UPI | License Photo

The attack also killed four civilians and injured 36 people, three of them critically Tuesday, morning, Istanbul Gov. Vasip Sahin told reporters.

The suspects were taken to the city’s police headquarters for interrogation, the state-run Anatolia news agency said.

The police bus was passing as the remote-controlled device was detonated in the morning rush hour near the tourist-friendly historic Beyazit Square.

The area’s neighborhoods included the city’s landmark Beyazit Square, the main Istanbul University campus and the Vezneciler metro station. The area was evacuated after the blast.

The attack is part of a growing trend of violence in the country with Kurdish separatists and the conflict in neighboring Syria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who visited some of the wounded in a hospital, condemned the attack.

“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.”

Erdogan hinted the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party carried out the attack, saying the attack of major cities by the group “is nothing new.”

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, who took office last month, said those carrying out the attack have “once again shown that they are the enemy of human values,” Turkey’s Anadolu state news agency reported.

The U.S. State Department said on Twitter: “We stand shoulder-to-shoulder w/Turkey in the fight against terrorism.”

By Shawn Price and Allen Cone