Interior Minister: 38 killed, 155 wounded in twin bombings in Istanbul

Interior Minister: 38 killed, 155 wounded in twin bombings in Istanbul

A total of 38 people were killed and another 155 were wounded on Dec. 10 when a double bombing hit central Istanbul near Beşiktaş’s Vodafone Arena Stadium, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced.

The first explosion was came from a moving car that directly targeted riot police near the stadium, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said in a press conference early on Dec. 11.

The second attack came 45 seconds after the first one when a suicide bomber detonated explosives at Maçka Park just across from the stadium, Kurtulmuş said.

The interior minister later announced that 27 police officers and two civilians were killed while 166 people were wounded in the twin bombings.

Ten suspects have been detained in connection with the attack, Soylu said.

Beşiktas has announced that one of the civilians killed was a staff member at the Beşiktaş store while the other was a congress member and a police officer.

Health Minister Recep Akdağ said 20 people were discharged from hospitals while six of the wounded were in intensive care, three of whom are in a critical condition.

The huge blasts occurred at around 10:20 p.m., around 90 minutes after a match between Beşiktaş and Bursaspor ended at the nearby ground. It was heard on both sides of the Bosphorus.

Following the attack, Bursaspor stated on its official Twitter account that there were no injuries among its supporters.

Beşiktaş also condemned the attack in a statement issued on its website, as did the Turkish Football Federation (TFF), Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray and Trabzonspor.

A number of ambulances were immediately dispatched to the scene as eyewitnesses reported the sound of gunfire after the explosions, although the lack of hospitals in the Taksim area meant most of the wounded had to be taken to Şişli Etfal Hospital or other medical centers in the area.

Security forces later detonated a suspicious car near the scene in a controlled explosion early on Dec. 11, Doğan News Agency reported.

The premier was immediately briefed about the attack by Soylu and Istanbul Gov. Vasip Şahin.

Presidential sources also said Erdoğan was at Tarabya Palace by the Bosphorus in Istanbul and that he was also briefed by officials.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s media watchdog, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), announced a gag order on reporting the attack.

A total of six prosecutors were assigned to investigate the attack.

In addition, the U.S. Embassy to Turkey also condemned the attack, showing solidarity with the country against terror.

“We condemn tonight’s cowardly attack, and salute the courage of the Turkish people as we stand with them against terror,” the embassy tweeted.

The U.S. Consulate in Istanbul also stated that it was monitoring the attack, urging its citizens to avoid the area.

“Please avoid the area, monitor local press reporting, and let friends and family know you are OK,” the consulate said in a tweet.

The attack also drew condemnation from EU officials.

“Following news from #Istanbul, in contact with authorities. All our solidarity to all citizens of #Turkey,” EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini tweeted.

“Strongly condemn attack in #Istanbul! Violence has no place in a democratic society. @EUDelegationTur,” Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn tweeted.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also condemned the attack.

“I condemn the horrific acts of terror in #Istanbul. My thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones and our Ally Turkey,” he tweeted.

In addition, British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson condemned the attack on his Twitter account.

“Condemn attack in #Istanbul. My thoughts are with all those affected. UK committed to working with #Turkey to tackle terrorism,” Johnson said./ΙΒΝΑ