Train operations were halted on Tuesday after a pipe bomb exploded on an overpass near an Istanbul metro station. Five people were injured in the blast.
No fatalities have been listed, though a broadcaster earlier reported that there had been at least one death. However, District Mayor Atilla Aydiner has confirmed only the five injuries.
According to Mayor Aydiner, the blast occurred during the peak time of the evening rush hour traffic near the Bayrampasa metro station. Bayrampasa is a residential and industrial area that is located on the European side of the city.
Large numbers of ambulances were quickly dispatched to the scene of the explosion, and images uploaded to social media show what appears to be people walking alongside the train tracks after the trains had been shut down. Prior to knowledge of the involvement of a pipe bomb, some had attributed the cause of the blast to an electrical transformer.
Turkey faces numerous security threats, largely due to its involvement with NATO having carried out airstrikes against the Islamist insurgents in Syria in collaboration with U.S.’s military efforts to fight the jihadist movement, as well as their ongoing conflict with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and the far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Army-Front (DHKP-C), which is considered a terrorist organization by both the United States and Ankara.
Istanbul is also on high alert after 103 people were killed by two suicide bombers in Ankara, Turkey’s capital city, on October 10. The bombers’ target that day had been a march of Pro-Kurdish peace activists, and the event has been listed as the worst attack in Turkey’s modern history; it has been linked to Islamic State militants.
Fortunately, today’s attack was on a much smaller scale, but is still jarring, none the less.