Deja Vu

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An explosion in one of Turkey’s busiest shopping districts killed at least six people and injured at least 81 others Sunday, a blast authorities described as deliberate, the Washington Post reported.

The blast took place on Istanbul’s Istiklal Street, a busy thoroughfare known for its tourist attractions and shops. Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said Monday that the person who left the bomb that caused the explosion has been arrested. He added that more than 20 other suspects were detained for questioning, according to the Associated Press.

Although no one claimed responsibility, Soylu noted that evidence suggested that the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party – which has fought a long insurgency against Turkey’s government – was responsible for the attack.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the explosion as a “treacherous attack” and vowed the perpetrators “will be punished as they deserve,” the Telegraph wrote.

Sunday’s explosion evoked the memories of another bombing in 2016 on Istiklal Street that was associated with the Islamic State (IS) militant group. That blast killed at least five people, including two US citizens, and injured 36 others.

Over the past decade, Turkey has been a frequent target of attacks carried out by members of IS, Kurdish militants and others. In 2015 and 2016, Istanbul in particular was the target of a wave of terrorist attacks attributed to the jihadist group.

Since then, security measures in the city that attracts millions of tourists each year have increased. Metal detectors are installed in all Istanbul shopping malls.

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