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Kyrgyzstan Can't Confirm National Was Among Istanbul Attackers

  • RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service

Kyrgyz authorities have said it is too early to confirm Turkish media claims about the alleged involvement of a Kyrgyz national in the deadly Istanbul airport attack until official DNA tests results are announced.

The Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry said on July 1 that Kyrgyz diplomats in Istanbul have met with representatives of Turkey’s antiterrorism department amid reports that one of the three suspects in the June 28 suicide bombings was a Kyrgyz citizen.

The antiterror officials said that “media reports are premature and incorrect until the official results of DNA and other forensic tests are available,” the ministry said.

Ruslan Moldakunov, a representative of the Kyrgyz consulate in Istanbul, told RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service that the results are expected at the earliest in “five or six days.”

“Turkish representatives told us that for now they are not able to verify the identities of the attackers,” Moldakunov added.

Turkish media quoted an unnamed Turkish government official as saying the three suspected Islamic State (IS) bombers were from Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Russia.

Turkey also announced the detention of 13 more people, including three foreign nationals, in connection with the gun and bomb attack that killed at least 43 people and injured more than 200 more.

No group has claimed responsibility, but Turkey blamed the attack on the so-called Islamic State extremist group.

Uzbekistan's security service could not immediately be reached for comment.

Andrei Karlov, Russia's ambassador to Turkey, said that he had no information regarding the involvement of any Russian citizen in the attack.

Hundreds of Kyrgyz, Uzbek, and Russian nationals have joined IS fighters in Syria and Iraq.

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