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Iran FM condoles with Turkey over Istanbul terror attack, says terrorism ‘reprehensible’ anywhere in world

The Iranian foreign minister has condemned the recent deadly terrorist attack in Istanbul and condoled with the Turkish government and nation on the tragic incident, stressing that terrorism is “reprehensible” anywhere in the world.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the remark in a Turkish-language post on his Twitter account on Monday, a day after a heavy explosion ripped through the Turkish city’s Istiklal street, which was packed with people at the time of the blast.

As many as six people were killed and at least 81 others injured in the blast. Authorities said a government ministry worker and his daughter were among the dead. Five people were in intensive care in hospital, two of them in a critical condition.

No person or group has claimed responsibility for the apparent attack.

“While expressing our condolences and sympathies to the friendly and brotherly government and nation of Turkey, we strongly condemn the terrorist act and the targeting of innocent people in Istanbul,” Amir-Abdollahian wrote in a tweet.

“Terrorism is reprehensible and condemned both in Taksim and in Shah Cheragh and everywhere in the world,” he added.

The top Iranian diplomat was referring to Taksim Square in the Turkish city of Istanbul as well as the latest terrorist attack on the holy shrine of Shah Cheragh in the Iranian city of Shiraz.

Earlier in the day, Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu blamed Kurdish militants for Sunday’s powerful explosion in Istanbul, saying 46 suspects have been arrested, including the bomber.

Soylu said the order for the attack was given in Kobani, a city in northern Syria, where Turkish forces have carried out operations against the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia in recent years.

The suspected bomber has been identified as a Syrian woman. Police said the woman confessed to being trained by militants affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Syria.

Ankara says the YPG, which Washington has supported in the conflict in Syria, is a wing of the PKK.

The recent attack has sparked concerns that Turkey could be hit with more bombings and attacks, like the series that it suffered between mid-2015 and 2017.

An offshoot of the PKK claimed twin bombings outside an Istanbul soccer stadium in December 2016 that killed 38 people and wounded 155.

Turkey has carried out three incursions in northern Syria against the YPG, including in 2019, seizing hundreds of kilometers of land. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said this year that Turkey will again target the YPG.

The PKK has led an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984 and more than 40,000 people have been killed in clashes. It is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union, and the United States.

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