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Family back in UK after being hurt in Istanbul bombing

By Martin Grant

An Irish family injured in a suicide attack in Istanbul have returned home as tensions remain high in the Turkish city.

The Irish-Algerian family of five suffered non-life-threatening injuries when a suicide bomber detonated a device on Saturday morning at Istikal Avenue - the main shopping area - killing five and wounding dozens.

Irish citizen Mohammed Ameen Bachik and his wife were taken to hospital with their three children. The family were treated for minor injuries and discharged on Saturday night.

The Bachiks had travelled to Istanbul for a holiday when they were caught up in the bombing.

Irish ambassador to Turkey Brendan Ward confirmed that the family were released from hospital. They later boarded a flight from Istanbul to the UK on Saturday night.

Hussein Awada, a close friend of Mr Bachik, said the family returned safely to their home in London and are recovering from their injuries.

Mr Bachik was based in Ireland for 10 years and worked in Rotana Cafe, a Dublin restaurant, before moving to the UK.

A former colleague described him as a "good worker" and said that he emigrated because of the high rents in Dublin. Ambassador Ward said that his assistant was in Istanbul and travelled to the hospital to assist the Bachik family.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but officials believe it was either Isis or Kurdish separatists.

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said that he was "deeply saddened" by the attacks.

Among the dead were two Israelis and one Iranian citizen, officials said, killed as the bomb tore through a neighbourhood that is popular with tourists and home to cafes, restaurants and foreign consulates.

Skin, lead singer of English band Skunk Anansie, was in a hotel near the explosion and said she was left "very shaken" after the building "shook like paper".

Posting a picture of the city on her Facebook page, she added: "Beautiful Istanbul taken before the horrendous bomb blast that just went off outside our hotel. Many people injured, horrific scenes, building shook like paper.

"My heart goes out to the innocent people and their families caught up in this evil situation."

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