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38 Killed In Istanbul Bomb Blasts, Wound 166 In Terror Attack After Football Match Outside Besiktas Stadium

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Two explosions near a football stadium in the heart of Turkey’s biggest city, Istanbul, have killed 38 people including 30 police officers, and injured 166.

Police arrive at the site of an explosion in central Istanbul
27 police officers were killed in the terror attack outside Besiktas Football stadium in Istanbul, Turkey

The explosions took place two hours after a match between two of Turkey’s leading football clubs, Besiktas and Bursaspor, at the Vodafone Arena – home of the Besiktas football club.

Istanbul bomb blasts kill 29 and wound 166 in terror attack after football match
Turkish emergency workers, police officers and forensic work on the site where a car bomb exploded near the stadium of football club Besiktas in central Istanbul on December 10, 2016. The car bomb exploded in the heart of Istanbul on late December 10, wounding around 20 police officers, Turkey’s interior minister said, quoted by the official Anadolu news agency. The bomb, apparently targeting a bus carrying police officers, exploded outside the stadium of Istanbul football club Besiktas following its match against Bursaspor.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said at a press conference in Istanbul that a moving car was detonated targeting riot police on duty near a stadium in the district of Besiktas, where a football match ended about one and half an hour before.

29 dead, 166 wounded after two separate blasts near Besiktas football stadium
The civilian death toll was lower because fans had already left the newly built Vodafone Arena Stadium after the soccer match when the blasts occurred.

Xinhua News Agency adds that Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said the blast happened soon after the fans left the stadium.

Car Bomb In Istanbul ouside besiktas football stadium
Two blasts rocked the city, a car bomb followed within the minute by a suicide bomb. This is the remains of the car bomb in Besiktas, Istanbul.

Forty-five seconds later, a man blew himself up in Macka Park just across the stadium, Soylu said, noting that about 10 suspects have been detained. istanbul-besiktas-blasts-tweet-1

The explosions were so powerful that they could be heard on both sides of the Bosphorus, a strait that divides the metropolis into two parts, press reports said. istanbul-besiktas-blasts-tweet

Three of the injured were in critical condition, while 17 had undergone surgery, said Health Minister Recep Akdag.

READ MORE & WATCH: CCTV Shows Exact Moment Of Blast Outside Besiktas Football Stadium In Istanbul

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the attack targeted police and civilians alike, and sought to cause the most casualties.

“When Turkey takes a positive step towards the future, the response comes immediately in the form of blood, loss of life, brutality, and chaos by terrorist organizations,” Erdogan said.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the government would dedicate every resource possible to thoroughly investigate the “vile attack”.

“The murderers who ambush life, peace, and happiness will not defeat the integrity of the state and the nation. They will not be able to divert Turkey from the path of democracy and law,” Yildirim said.

A third explosion was heard later by residents. Press reports described it as the detonation of a suspicious car near the scene, saying six prosecutors have been tasked with investigating the attacks.

Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, and Ankara, the country’s national capital, have come under a spate of deadly attacks over the past year amid a worsening security situation.

Istanbul was last attacked in late June, when three suicide bombers assaulted the city’s major international airport and killed 45 people.

“Unfortunately we have martyrs and wounded,” said the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a statement. One of the blasts was caused by a car bomb and the second was a suicide attack at Macka Park nearby, 45 seconds later.

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