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Dutch consulate closed in Istanbul over potential terror threat

23 March 2016 22:45



The Netherlands has temporarily evacuated and closed its consulate in Istanbul due to a potential terror threat in the wake of a recent deadly blast in the Turkish city as well as the capital, Ankara.

Foreign Minister Bert Koenders “decided to temporarily close the Dutch consulate in Istanbul after a possible terror threat,” a statement from the Dutch ministry said Wednesday, advising all Dutch citizens to stay away from the area around the mission and keep abreast of developments.

The Netherlands did not provide details on the nature of the threat and where it came from, but said that it evacuated the mission, citing safety of staff.

The move came after four foreigners were killed and nearly 40 other people were injured when a blast rocked a tourist hub in the Turkish city on March 19.

This AFP photo shows the scene of a bombing that ripped through a famous shopping street in central Istanbul, Turkey, on March 19, 2016.

The attacker behind the bombing was identified as an affiliate of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, according to Turkish officials.

Turkey has been hit by a number of bombings in recent months, mostly blamed on Daesh or members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group.

On March 13, a car bomb went off in Ankara’s central neighborhood of Kizilay. Over three dozen people were killed in the attack, which came three weeks after a bombing on a Turkish military convoy in Ankara killed 29 people, most of them soldiers.

Ankara is itself suspected of actively training and arming Takfiri terrorists operating inside Syria and buying smuggled oil from them.

Germany closed its embassy in Ankara and its general consulate and a school in Istanbul for similar reasons.

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