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Flowers are placed inside Santa Maria Catholic Church in Istanbul on Monday, the day after the deadly attack (OSV News/Dilara Senkaya, Reuters)

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on a Catholic church in Türkiye during Sunday Mass that left one man dead. Source: CNA.

Two suspects described as members of the Islamic State group have been arrested following the shooting on Sunday at Santa Maria Church in Istanbul’s Sariyer district.

Minister of the Interior Ali Yerlikaya announced late on Sunday night that police had conducted raids on 30 locations across Istanbul following the attack, during which the arrests were made.

“Both of the suspects are foreign nationals. One of them is from Tajikistan and the other is Russian, and we evaluated them to be with the Islamic State,” Mr Yerlikaya said, according to Reuters.

He identified the victim of the attack as 52-year-old Turkish national Tuncer Cihan in a post on the social media platform X.

The Turkish bishops’ conference has asked for prayers for the victim and his family in a statement released on Saturday.

“We firmly condemn this act of violence against humanity,” said the statement signed by Archbishop Martin Kmetec of Izmir.

“We trust that the Turkish state security forces will find those responsible and that justice will be done,” he said. “We firmly demand that the truth be revealed and that greater security be guaranteed to our communities and churches.”

The Turkish bishops also urged people “not to spread the culture of hatred and religious discrimination.”

The attack took place at 11.40am local time during Mass. Video footage of the attack obtained by EWTN News showed two masked assailants dressed in black following a man with white hair into the church and shooting him in the back of the head as parishioners hid under the pews.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the Istanbul attack on its official media outlet, Aamaq, according to the Associated Press.


Islamic State claims responsibility for attack on Catholic church in Istanbul (By Courtney Mares, CNA

The Islamic State group claims responsibility for the Istanbul church attack that killed one person (ABC News – US)