Istanbul tourist guide for German tourists told them to run after hearing 'strange click'

A flower placed for victims who were killed in an explosion in Istanbul on Jan 13, 2016.
A flower placed for victims who were killed in an explosion in Istanbul on Jan 13, 2016.PHOTO: EPA

ISTANBUL (AFP) - The guide of a group of German tourists who were targeted by a suicide bomber in Istanbul said she heard the moment the attacker released his explosive charge and then shouted "run!" to her clients, a report said on Wednesday (Jan 13).

A suicide bomber of Syrian origin blew himself up in Istanbul's historic Sultanahmet district on Tuesday morning, killing 10 tourists, most of them Germans, in an attack blamed on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Turkish tour guide Sibel Satiroglu told the police she saw the moment the bomber detonated himself after blending into a group of 33 German citizens visiting the Obelisk of Theodosius, one of the city's most eye-catching sites.

"I heard a 'click' sound while I was telling the group about the obelisk. I thought it (the sound) was strange and looked around," she said, quoted by Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper.

"Among the group was a young bearded man who looked like a Turk. He had an innocent face and was wearing modern clothes.

"I saw the young man pull the pin and I shouted 'Run!' in German ('Lauft weg!'). Then we started to run away, and the bomb instantly exploded."

Another 15 people were wounded, at least ten of them from Germany.

Ms Satiroglu herself was injured in the leg and suffered temporary hearing loss.

Hurriyet said the German group had on Monday evening checked in a boutique hotel in Galata district on the other side of the Golden Horn from Sultanahmet.

Four other Germans in the group had decided not to visit Istanbul at the last minute, it said.

Germans are by far the most frequent foreign visitors to Turkey, with 258,613 arriving in November 2015, accounting for 15 per cent of all arrivals.