Istanbul Explosions: 29 Killed, 166 Wounded

The site of one of the explosions in central IstanbulThe site of one of the explosions in central Istanbul

Twenty-nine people, mostly police officers, were killed and 166 wounded in Saturday’s twin bombings in Istanbul, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said in a press conference on Sunday.

The explosions, one large blast followed by a smaller one, occurred about 11 p.m. local time after a heavily attended football game at Besiktas Vodafone Arena.

According to Soylu, a remote control detonated a car bomb for the explosion. Shortly afterward, a suicide bomber caused a second explosion at Macka Park. The two locations are less than a mile apart, CNN reported.

No group has claimed for the twin bombings yet.

Speaking live Sunday morning to affiliate CNN Turk, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said, “It is not certain yet but those responsible (for the attacks) seems to be the PKK.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a statement prior to the news conference saying Istanbul had once again “witnessed the ugliest face of terror stepping on all values and morals ... Together with the help of Allah, as a country and a nation, we will overcome terror, terror organizations, terrorists and the ... powers behind them.”

“Ten suspects have been detained in connection with the blasts,” Soylu said at the conference.

The Turkish prime minister’s office said in a statement that a day of national mourning has been declared on Sunday, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.

Video showed a chaotic scene outside Besiktas Vodafone Arena as police converged on the area and emergency medical workers loaded victims into ambulances.

Several blocks away, police towed cars parked at Taksim Square, a popular tourist area, as a precaution.

Of those killed, 27 were police officers, Soylu said. Seventeen people are presently undergoing operation for their wounds, according to Turkish Health Minister Recep Akdag who also spoke at Sunday’s press conference.


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