Turkish authorities have captured two gunmen who shot one individual lifeless on Sunday throughout a service at a church in Istanbul and who’re believed to be tied to Islamic State, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya mentioned.
Yerlikaya had earlier mentioned that the assault, which Ankara condemned, came about round 0840 GMT on the Italian Santa Maria Catholic Church in Istanbul’s Sariyer district, and that one Turkish citizen – who was focused by the gunmen – was killed whereas attending the service.
Speaking to reporters later, Yerlikaya mentioned authorities had carried out raids on greater than 30 areas throughout Istanbul and detained 47 individuals till now. The suspects have been captured in one of many final raids, he mentioned.
“Both of the suspects are foreign nationals. One of them is from Tajikistan and the other is Russian, and we evaluated them to be with Islamic State,” Yerlikaya mentioned, including they’d be questioned in regards to the assault.
Earlier, Islamic State claimed accountability for the assault in a press release on Telegram, saying it was in response to a name by the group’s leaders to goal Jews and Christians.
CCTV footage from within the church, verified by Reuters, confirmed the masked gunmen coming into the constructing and taking pictures the person who was strolling in entrance of them. The CCTV footage exhibits the lads leaving nearly instantly afterwards.
President Tayyip Erdogan referred to as the church’s priest to supply his condolences and assist, his workplace mentioned, publishing a video of the decision.
Pope Francis conveyed his condolences over the assault after his weekly Angelus prayer.
“I express my closeness to the community of Saint Mary Draperis Church in Istanbul that suffered an armed attack during mass that caused one death,” he mentioned.
Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni mentioned on X that Italy’s overseas ministry was following updates on the “despicable act” and condemned it.
Islamic State has performed quite a few assaults throughout Turkey, together with on a nightclub in Istanbul on Jan. 1, 2017, in which 39 individuals have been killed.
Yerlikaya mentioned Turkish authorities had detained 2,086 individuals suspected of ties to Islamic State throughout 1,046 operations since June 2023, and that 529 individuals had been arrested.