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Two bomb blasts in Istanbul kill 38 people

11 December 2016

Two bomb blasts in central Istanbul have claimed a total of 38 lives and another 136 wounded on Saturday.

One explosion which came from a moving car, took place near the Beşiktaş’s Vodafone Arena Stadium, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced.

Riot police near the stadium were the direct target, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said in a press conference early on Sunday morning.

The second attack came 45 seconds after the first one when a suicide bomber detonated explosives at Maçka Park just across from the stadium, Kurtulmuş said.

Later on, Kurtulmuş pointed to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as the possible perpetrator of the attack.

It’s not certain, but the arrows point to the PKK,” he told CNN Türk on Sunday.

13 suspects have been detained in connection with the attack, Interior Minister Soylu said.

Beşiktas has announced that one of the civilians killed was a staff member at the Beşiktaş store while the other was a congress member and a police officer.

Health Minister Recep Akdağ said 20 people were discharged from hospitals while six of the injured were in intensive care, three of whom are in a critical condition.

The huge blasts took place at around 10.20pm, around 90 minutes after a match between Beşiktaş and Bursaspor ended at the nearby ground. It was heard on both sides of the Bosphorus.

A number of ambulances were immediately dispatched to the scene as eyewitnesses reported the sound of gunfire after the explosions, although the lack of hospitals in the Taksim area meant most of the wounded had to be taken to Şişli Etfal Hospital or other medical centres in the area.

Following the attack, Bursaspor stated on its official Twitter account that there were no injuries among its supporters.

There were strong messages from the international community condemning the attacks. People have been advised to avoid the area for the time being.

Hurriyet

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