Istanbul Church attack: Minister links gunmen to ISIS in shocking turn of events
It will be recalled that two masked individuals stormed the Santa Maria Church during a service around noon on Sunday, January 28.
Positioned in the Sariyer district on the European side of Istanbul, the assailants took one shot from a handgun in the church. This random act resulted in the death of a 52-year-old male Turkish citizen. Fortunately, no other injuries were reported.
Among the 40 attendees at the mass was the Consul General of Poland, Witold Leśniak, alongside his children.
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Although initial statements from Turkish officials suggested the "attack seemed to have been directed at one person," it later emerged that the incident could have taken a higher toll if the assailants' gun hadn't jammed after the first shot.
The situation worsened during investigations, unveiling that this was a terrorist act against Catholic Church faithful. The offenders have connections to the Islamic State (ISIS).
It has been reported by PAP that the infamous terrorist organization claimed responsibility for Sunday's attack, alleging it as a response to calls by their leaders to wage attacks on Christians and followers of Judaism.
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The suspects behind the attack, a Russian and a Tajik national, were apprehended later the same day:
CCTV shows terrifying moment two masked gunmen enter church in Istanbul
Closely following this disgraceful attack, the Istanbul police launched an efficient, wide-ranging operation. 30 locations were examined, and 47 individuals were detained. Eventually, the two primary suspects were apprehended during the night—explained Minister Yerlikaya during a press conference at the Istanbul police headquarters.