Twin explosions outside Besiktas stadium leave 38 dead
38 people have been reported dead and 166 more injured after two bombs went off outside the Vodafone Arena in Istanbul, Turkey on Saturday night.
The Vodafone Arena is home to the Besiktas football team, and the first explosion was a car bomb right outside the stadium. A suicide bomber then attacked an adjacent car park seconds later. Majority of the victims were police officers.
The country has declared a day of mourning for the incident, with Prime Minister Binali Yildirim ordering flags be flown at half mast.
The bombings had occurred less than two hours after a match between Besiktas and Bursaspor had ended, and President Tayyip Erdogan described the incident as a terrorist attack aimed to create maximum casualties.
“Nobody should doubt that with God’s will, we as a country and a nation will overcome terror, terrorist organisations …and the forces behind them,” he said in a statement.
Both Besiktas and Bursaspor have released statements condemning the bombings.
“It was like hell. The flames went all the way up to the sky. I was drinking tea at the cafe next to the mosque,” a witness told Reuters. “People ducked under the tables, women began crying. Football fans drinking tea at the cafe sought shelter, it was horrible.”
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but last week the ISIS told supporters to target Turkey’s “security, military, economic and media establishment”.
Ten people have been arrested however, with Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus believing it to be the job of Kurdish rebels.
“The arrows point at the PKK,” Mr Kurtulmus told CNN Turk in an interview. “There will be an announcement once the investigations are over. We cannot say anything definite for now.”