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Istanbul Besiktas Turkey: Stadium blasts kill 38 people

 

A twin bomb attack on police officers outside a football stadium in Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul, has killed 38 people and injured many more.

A car bomb hit a police vehicle and a suicide bomber detonated a suicide vest in quick succession late on Saturday.

The blasts occurred near the stadium of top-division team Besiktas, two hours after a match. Ten arrests were made.

The government says initial findings point towards Kurdish militants, who have targeted police in the past.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told CNN Turk news channel that “arrows point” to the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK).

Thirty of those killed in the attack were police officers, officials say.

A further 155 people were being treated in hospital, 14 of them in intensive care, health officials say.

Photographs posted on Instagram after the explosion showed helmets strewn on a road and damaged vehicles.

No group has said it was behind the attack but a wave of bombings in Turkey this year has been carried out both by the PKK and so-called Islamic State (IS), says the BBC’s Mark Lowen in Istanbul.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the explosions “aimed to maximise casualties”.

But they came two hours after the end of the match between top teams Bursaspor at Besiktas at the Vodafone Arena.

Local media reported that fans had already dispersed. Bursaspor posted on Twitter that it knew of no injuries to its supporters.


Deadly attacks in Turkey this year

20 August: Bomb attack on wedding party in Gaziantep kills at least 30 people, IS suspected

30 July: 35 Kurdish fighters who try to storm a military base are killed by the Turkish army

28 June: A gun and bomb attack on Ataturk airport in Istanbul kills 41 people, in an attack blamed on IS militants

13 March: 37 people are killed by Kurdish militants in a suicide car bombing in Ankara

17 February: 28 people die in an attack on a military convoy in Ankara


Turkish policemen at the site of an explosion in central Istanbul, Turkey, December 10, 2016.Image copyright REUTERS
Image caption    Photographs have started to emerge of police helping their injured colleagues.

Feature Photo: Image copyright REUTERSImage captionThe attack appears to have targeted riot police|BBC

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