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Turkey Arrests Suspect in Istanbul Attacks, But Won’t Tell Who It Is

Turkish authorities have made an arrest in Tuesday's bombing in Istanbul. But his identity has not yet been revealed.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - JANUARY 13: Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (R-2), German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere (L), Turkish Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu (R) and Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala (L-2) leave roses for the ones who lost their lives in an attack at Sultanahmet square after it has been reopened to media and public in Istanbul, Turkey on January 13, 2016. A blast at Istanbuls Sultanahmet tourist district on Tuesday morning killed 10 people and wounded 15 others. A Syrian suicide bomber carried out Tuesdays attack in Istanbuls Sultanahmet tourist district, Turkeys president said.

 (Photo by Onur Coban/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - JANUARY 13: Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (R-2), German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere (L), Turkish Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu (R) and Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala (L-2) leave roses for the ones who lost their lives in an attack at Sultanahmet square after it has been reopened to media and public in Istanbul, Turkey on January 13, 2016. A blast at Istanbuls Sultanahmet tourist district on Tuesday morning killed 10 people and wounded 15 others. A Syrian suicide bomber carried out Tuesdays attack in Istanbuls Sultanahmet tourist district, Turkeys president said. (Photo by Onur Coban/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Turkish authorities probing a deadly attack in the heart of Istanbul’s most popular tourist district said Wednesday they had arrested a suspect with alleged ties to the suicide bombing that killed at least 10 people.

What remains unclear is who exactly that suspect is and how they tracked him down. The bomber himself, who was identified as Nabil Fadli, a Saudi-born Syrian citizen born in 1988, died in the attack. Ankara alleges he had ties to the Islamic State.

Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala announced the arrest Wednesday in a joint press conference with his German counterpart, Thomas de Mazière. Nearly all the victims of the attack were German, including 10 who have been confirmed as dead. Despite the high German death toll, de Mazière told reporters there are “no indications that the attack was specifically directed against Germans.”

German news agency DPA reported that the 10 victims, who have not yet been identified by name, included men and women between the ages of 51 and 75, who came from four German states and Berlin. Ala said the overall death toll has not yet been confirmed.

De Mazière visited the site of the attack Wednesday, and called the bombing “an attack against humanity.”

“I came here today in order to show that the entire population of Germany, together with the people of Turkey, condemn this attack, and we mourn together,” he said.

In recent days, Turkey — which has come under scrutiny from Western officials who claim it has not done enough to stop the Islamic State — has arrested dozens of people who allegedly have ties to the terrorist organization. In a Wednesday raid on what is believed to be an Islamic State cell, three Russians were detained.

Photo Credit: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Siobhán O’Grady is a freelance journalist working across sub-Saharan Africa. She previously worked as a staff writer at Foreign Policy. @siobhan_ogrady

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