Home » Türkiye: IS claims responsibility for attack, suspects arrested

Türkiye: IS claims responsibility for attack, suspects arrested

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Türkiye: IS claims responsibility for attack, suspects arrested

The terrorist organization “Islamic State” (IS) has claimed responsibility for the attack on a church in Istanbul last Sunday. Turkish authorities report the arrest of two suspects. According to the police, both are believed to belong to IS.

Bishop Massimiliano Palinuro, Vicar Apostolic of Istanbul and Apostolic Administrator of Constantinople, leaves after the assassination attempt at the Church of St. Maria Katolik Kilisesi…

In the case of the attack on a church in Istanbul during Sunday services, in which a believer was killed, Turkish police announced the arrest of two suspects on Sunday evening. It is therefore a Chechen with a Russian passport and a Tajik. According to the Turkish Interior Ministry, both are linked to the Islamic State terrorist militia. IS claimed responsibility for the attack online: “Two Islamic State fighters attacked a Christian church while the infidels followed their own rites.” The Turkish authorities have not yet commented on this. It would be the first IS attack on Turkish soil since an attack on New Year’s Day 2017.

Bizetti: “Anti-Christian attack”

During Sunday mass in the Santa Maria church in Sariyer, two armed men entered the church and fired shots. When a believer protested, he was shot dead by the attackers. The Vicar Apostolic of Anatolia, Paolo Bizetti, described the attack as an anti-Christian attack: “I have seen the video of the attack. It seems to me that this is an anti-Christian attack with a religious motivation. It is an attack against a Christian minority, one of the many that exist in Turkey and the Middle East.” In Turkey, Christians have been the “biggest target” of attacks for decades.

Pope Francis strongly condemned the attack during his midday prayer on Sunday. The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew, commented on the attacks in a letter: “No one must allow fear to prevail over social peace and destroy the harmonious coexistence of religious communities in the country,” said the Patriarch. Immediately after receiving the news of the attack, he turned to the Vicar Apostolic of Istanbul, Bishop Massimiano Palinuro, and expressed his and the church’s support and deep condolences to the bereaved families and the entire community.

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(sir – ww)

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