Five held in Bulgaria after Istanbul blast

Bulgarian prosecutors have charged five people for supporting terrorist acts in connection with an explosion in central Istanbul that killed six people on November 13, the country's chief prosecutor Ivan Geshev says.

Three men of Moldovan origin and a man and woman of Syrian Kurdish descent were detained by Bulgarian special police forces earlier this week following investigations and close co-operation with prosecutors in neighbouring Turkey, Geshev told Reuters.

"Five people have been charged. The charges are in two groups - for supporting terrorist acts in another country, namely the attack in Istanbul, and for human trafficking," Geshev said.

"These people were mainly involved in human trafficking through the border (with Turkey) and smuggling," he said.

Prosecutors will ask a Bulgarian court later on Saturday to keep the four men in detention while a different option will be sought for the woman in light of a health condition, he said.

Turkish prosecutors have already asked for some of the suspected accomplices in the blast to be extradited, Geshev added.

On Friday, a Turkish court ordered the pre-trial detention of 17 people suspected of being involved in the explosion, including the suspected bomber, who police identified as Syrian citizen Ahlam Albashir.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blast, which also injured more than 80 people on Istiklal Avenue.

The Turkish government swiftly blamed Kurdish militants for the blast and police have said the suspected bomber was trained by Kurdish militants in Syria.