At least 38 people are reported dead and at least another 160 wounded as a result of two explosions that went off on Saturday night after a football match in Istanbul, Turkey.
The blasts occurred at 10.29PM, more than two hours after the game had ended, according to Turkey’s interior minister Süleyman Soylu, speaking at a press conference.
According to Soylu, a remote control detonated a car bomb for the first explosion. Shortly afterward, a suicide bomber caused a second explosion at Macka Park. The two locations are less than a mile apart.
— Christopher James (@travelingmitch) December 10, 2016
Thirteen people have have been arrested in connection with the blasts, as of Sunday morning. “According to the latest information, 38 of our nation’s children have reached martyrdom after last night’s cruel attack,” Soylu told a news conference earlier.
“Sooner or later, we will have our vengeance. This blood will not be left on the ground, no matter what the price, what the cost.”
Moment of explosion in Istanbul from an amateur camera! pic.twitter.com/tJ6KeYCPfD
— Mutlu Civiroglu (@mutludc) December 10, 2016
The first explosion came from a moving car that directly targeted riot police near the stadium.
The second attack came 45 seconds after the first one, when a suicide bomber detonated explosives at Maçka Park just across from the stadium, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said in a press conference. According to the BBC, 30 of those killed in the attacks were police officers.
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“There will be an announcement once the investigations are over. We cannot say anything definite for now,” Kurtulmuş concluded. He said Turkey’s allies should show solidarity with it in the fight against terrorism.
No one had come forward and taken responsibility for the double-pronged attack by early Sunday afternoon, but Soylu and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said early indications pointed to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). “The evidence so far points to the PKK,” Soylu said.
“The ministry has some of the information on framework about how it was planned and organised but for the sake of the investigation please forgive that I won’t share any details.”
By Sunday evening, PKK splinter group the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK) had claimed responsibility for the bombings according to Rita Katz, the director of extremist-tracking organisation SITE Intelligence Group.
The bombings come five months after Turkey was shaken by a failed military coup in July, in which more than 240 people were killed, many of them in Istanbul.
Istanbul has seen several other attacks this year, including in June, when around 45 people were killed and hundreds wounded as three suspected Islamic State militants carried out a gun and bomb attack on its main Ataturk airport.
BREAKING: Two large explosion reported near Besiktas football stadium in Istanbul pic.twitter.com/9ncLVtQLro
— Turkey Untold (@TurkeyUntold) December 10, 2016
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, issued a statement. “Istanbul had once again witnessed the ugliest face of terror stepping on all values and morals,” it read.
“Together with the help of Allah, as a country and a nation, we will overcome terror, terror organizations, terrorists and the powers behind them.”
A national day of mourning was declared on Sunday with flags flown at half-mast, according to a statement from the prime minister’s office. Mr Erdogan cancelled his official visit to Kazakhstan.