ISIS Claims Responsibility For Attack In Catholic Church, Turkey

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The Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for an attack at a Catholic Church service in Istanbul, Turkey on Sunday, January 28.

Turkish authorities have detained the two gunmen, both foreigners, who targeted and killed a Turkish Muslim attending service at the Italian Santa Maria Catholic Church in Istanbul’s Sariyer District, according to Reuters, citing Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya.

The suspects, one from Tajikstan and the other Russian, were affiliated with the Islamic State, Yerlikaya told reporters. He said they were captured in raids on 30 locations in Istanbul in which 47 people were detained.

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The mayor of Sariyer District, Sukru Genc, told local newspaper BirGün that the slain man was a Muslim from the Turkish city of Bayburt who was near the entrance to the church building when the gunmen opened fire, according to Christian Daily. It stated that Yerlikaya identified the victim as Tuncer Murat Cihan.

“According to the priest, he was constantly going to church, and the priest knew this person and referred to him as ‘a good person.’”

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Islamic State’s claim of responsibility, published on its media arm, Aamaq, asserted that one person had been wounded in addition to the one killed, but Turkish authorities said no one was injured except the slain man, according to The AP.

“We will never tolerate those who try to disrupt the peace of our country — terrorists, their collaborators, both national and international criminal groups, and those who aim at our unity and solidarity,” Yerlikaya said, according to AP.

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