Turkey’s interior minister said Monday that authorities have arrested 22 people in connection with the explosion Sunday at a popular Istanbul shopping center, according to Anadolu, a Turkish state-run news agency. One of those arrested is believed to be the person who left the bomb at the center.
“Our assessment is that the order for the deadly attack came from Ayn al-Arab in northern Syria, where the PKK/YPG has its Syrian headquarters,” Suleyman Soylu said. The militant Kurdistan Workers Party, or the PKK, is a Kurdish separatists’ militant organization.
Soylu said eight people were killed in the blast and 81 were injured. Fifty of the injured have been released from hospitals, but five remain in intensive care units and two of the injured are in critical condition.
The interior minister said Turkey “will retaliate against those who are responsible for this heinous terror attack.”
Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip said those who engaged in terrorism against Turkey were defeated in the past and would be in the future. Erdogan arrived in Bali to attend the G-20 summit, hours after the explosion.
Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union consider the PPK a terrorist organization. The YPG is a Syrian offshoot.