ISTANBUL – As many as 29 people were killed while another 160 were left injured as a car bomb followed by a suicide bomb targeted Istanbul city.
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The huge explosions appeared to target police outside Besiktas soccer stadium in the capital after the match between two of Turkey’s top teams. All but two of those killed in the blasts were police officers.
President Tayyip Erdogan described the blasts outside the Vodafone Arena, home to Istanbul’s Besiktas soccer team, as a terrorist attack on police and civilians. He said the aim had been to cause the maximum number of casualties.
“As a result of these attacks unfortunately we have martyrs and wounded,” Erdogan said in a statement.
“Nobody should doubt that with God’s will, we as a country and a nation will overcome terror, terrorist organizations and the forces behind them,” he said.
Turkish Prime Minister Yıldırım issued a statement saying that terrorists will not be able to defeat the “integrity of the state” and will not turn Turkey away from the path of democracy. The PM also confirmed that an explosives-laden vehicle targeted Turkish security forces outside the stadium.
On the other hand, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said one of the explosions hit directly outside the stadium, while the suspected suicide bomber struck in the adjacent Macka park.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.