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Istanbul suicide bomber possible Islamic State militant

By UPI Staff   |   March 20, 2016 at 10:39 AM
| License Photo

ISTANBUL, Turkey, March 20 (UPI) -- A suicide bomber who took the lives of four people Saturday in Istanbul has been identified as a Turkish national with possible ties to the Islamic State, DNA tests revealed Sunday.

Mehmet Ozturk was identified using blood samples from his family, Anadolu Agency reported.

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In addition to himself and four others, Ozturk also injured 39 others.

Reports differ on whether Ozturk has been positively identified as a member of the IS, but the BBC reported a confirmation from Turkey's interior minister.

"It has been established that he is a member of Daesh," Interior Minister Efken Ala said using another name for the militant group.

Three Israelis, two with Israeli-US nationality, and an Iranian died in the suicide bombing. Also injured were 11Israelis, two Irish citizens and one each from Germany, Iceland, Dubai and Iran.

Ala said security measures are being reviewed and curfews are in effect in seven Turkish provinces.

Turkey is part of the US-led coalition against the Islamic State and allows coalition planes to use its air base at Incirlik to make raids on Iraq and Syria.

Istanbul has been attacked by members of the terrorist group in the past - most recently in January when a suspected suicide attack there killed 12 German tourists.

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