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Israel tell citizens to leave Turkey for security reasons

'Terrorist infrastructures in Turkey continue to advance additional attacks against tourist targets,' says government
Turkish police officers stand guard near the Blue Mosque a day after an attack killed 10 mainly German tourists in January (AFP)

Israel has told its citizens to leave Turkey citing the potential for further militant attacks after three Israelis were killed in a bombing in central Istanbul. Another tourist from Iran was also killed in the suicide bombing claimed by the Islamic State group. 

"It has been decided to upgrade the existing travel warning vis-a-vis Turkey from a basic concrete threat to a high concrete threat, and to reiterate our recommendation to the public to avoid visiting the country and - for Israelis currently in Turkey – to leave as soon as possible," a government statement said on Monday. 

The statement said the bombing highlighted the threat from Islamic State group militants "against tourist targets throughout Turkey and proves high capabilities of carrying out further attacks".

"Terrorist infrastructures in Turkey continue to advance additional attacks against tourist targets - including Israeli tourists – throughout the country," it said.

Tens of thousands of Israelis visit nearby Turkey each year despite strained diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Turkey's tourism sector has already been ravaged by a sting of other attacks in the capital Ankara and the tourist hot-spot of Istanbul as well as the ongoing violence in southern Turkey where the Kurdish Worker's Party (PKK) has been clashing with authorities for almost a year. 

Almost 40 other people were wounded when a man blew himself up on Istiklal Caddesi, a famous shopping street in the heart of Turkey's biggest city. 

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