Two bombs exploded less than a minute apart outside a soccer stadium in Istanbul on Saturday night
Two bombs exploded less than a minute apart, killing 29 people and wounding 166 outside a soccer stadium in Istanbul on Saturday night, in a co-ordinated attack on police shortly after a match between two of Turkey's top teams.
First a car bomb exploded outside the Vodafone Arena, home to Istanbul's Besiktas soccer team, leaving flaming wreckage on the street. Forty-five seconds later, a suspect wearing explosives detonated them while surrounded by police in an adjacent park, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told a news conference.
President Tayyip Erdogan described the blasts as a terrorist attack on police and civilians. He said the aim of the bombings, two hours after the end of a match attended by thousands of people, had been to cause the maximum number of 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.
The attack shook a soccer-mad nation still trying to recover from a series of deadly bombings this year in cities including Istanbul and the capital Ankara, some blamed on the Daesh terror group and others claimed by Kurdish militants.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. But the blasts came less than a week after Daesh urged its supporters to target Turkey's "security, military, economic and media establishment".
"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," said Omer Yilmaz, who works as a cleaner at the nearby Dolmabahce mosque, directly across the road from the stadium.