A suicide bomber linked to the Islamic State (IS) struck the historic heart of Istanbul, Turkey today (January 12, 2016), killing at least 10 people -- including eight Germans -- in what would be the IS group's first major attack on Turkey's vital tourism industry, according to the Washington Post website.
The bombing -- which injured 15 others -- took place in the shadow of the city's famous nine-domed Blue Mosque, which draws visitors from around the world. Most of the victims were German nationals, Turkish officials said.
The targeting of Turkey's tourism trade puts the IS group on a more direct collision course with the Turkish state, which has been criticized for not doing enough to prevent militants from using the country as a crucial route for IS recruits, supplies, and oil smuggling.
The blast occurred just before 10:30 a.m. in the Sultanahmet district, an area that includes the 400-year-old Blue Mosque; Hagia Sophia, a former Byzantine-era Greek Orthodox basilica; and the lavish Ottoman Topkapi Palace.