July 24, 2024

Brighton Journal

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At least one person has been killed in an attack on an Italian church in Istanbul

At least one person has been killed in an attack on an Italian church in Istanbul
Police at the entrance to Santa Maria Church in Istanbul

One person died on Sunday An Italianate church in Istanbul, TurkeyDuring an armed attack during a religious ceremony.

According to authorities, two men wearing balaclavas entered St. Mary's Churchin the district Chariot Istanbul, during Sunday Mass.

The area was cordoned off after the attack, which began at 11:00 (local time). Several police teams were dispatched to the spot.

Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya released a statement about X and announced that the attackers had not yet been caught. “We strongly condemn this despicable attack,” Yerlikaya added.

Omar Celik, a spokesman for Turkey's ruling AKP party, said security forces were conducting a “large-scale” investigation into the matter: “Those who threaten the peace and security of our citizens will never achieve their goals.”

Local media reported that others were injured in the attack, but officials did not immediately confirm this. The motive for the attack was not immediately clear.

In December last year, Turkish security forces arrested 32 suspects allegedly linked to Islamic State jihadists planning attacks on churches and synagogues and the Iraqi embassy.

ISIS militants have carried out a series of attacks on Turkish soil, including in 2017 when 39 people were killed in an Istanbul nightclub.

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Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani expressed his “condolence and firm condemnation” of the attack, and supported Turkish authorities in finding the killers.

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