Israel confirms 2nd national is among dead

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Ankara, Mar 19: An Israeli official has confirmed that a second Israeli citizen is among the victims of the suicide attack in Istanbul, which killed five people including the bomber.

Israeli Foreign ministry spokesman Alon Lavi said today: "Sadly, we can confirm two dead Israelis." Earlier, Iranian officials also said that an Iranian man was among the dead.

israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said officials were still trying to determine whether the attack targeted specifically targeted Israeli nationals.

"We are trying to clarify with intelligence, and we have no confirmation for this now, that this terror attack was directed against Israelis," Netanyahu said.

Turkish media reports say three Israelis and an Iranian national were killed in the suicide attack in Istanbul.

The private Dogan news agency today identified the victims as a woman and two men from Israel, and an Iranian aged 31. The agency did not cite a source for the report, which was also carried by other media organizations.

A Turkish official would not immediately confirm the report, saying authorities were still trying to confirm the victims' identities.

Earlier, an Israeli official confirmed that an Israeli was among the victims. The United States says it "stands in solidarity" with Turkey in combating "the common threat of terrorism."

US State Department spokesman John Kirby says the attack is the latest in a series of what he describes as "indefensible violence targeting innocent people" throughout Turkey.

Kirby says in a statement that "these acts of terrorism only reinforce our determination to support all those across the region working to promote peace and reconciliation."

An Israeli official says one of the victims who died in the suicide bombing attack in Istanbul was an Israeli citizen.

Eli Bin, the head of Israel's rescue service MDA, told Channel 2 TV today: "There is one Israeli killed whose family has been notified."

Turkey's private Dogan news agency said the Israeli citizen who died was a woman, but did not provide further details.

Bin also said 10 Israelis were wounded in the attack on Istanbul's busiest pedestrian street. An MDA ambulance plane would leave for Istanbul in next hour, he said.

NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has condemned the suicide bomb attack in Istanbul which killed at least four people. 

AP

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