At least 38 people were killed and 166 injured in Istanbul on Saturday after two bombs were detonated outside a soccer stadium, AFP quoted Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu as saying. The explosions, one of them believed to be a suicide bomb, took place hours after a game between Besiktas and Bursaspor, two of Turkey’s top teams, reported Reuters. A car bomb detonated outside the Vodafone arena while another detonated at the nearby Macka Park.
The aim of these attacks was to cause maximum casualties, said Turkey President Tayyip Erdogan. “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 added. At least 20 of those killed in the attack were police officers. The sites of attack were also close to Taksim Square, a busy spot that is a magnet for tourists.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said the blast which took place at Macka Park is believed to have been carried out by a suicide bomber, AFP reported. There was no immediate claim of responsibility of the attacks. The government ordered a ban on the broadcast of the footage of the attack.
The explosions came hours after a parliamentary bill was submitted by Turkey’s ruling party which would expand the tenure and powers of Erdogan, AFP added.
In June this year, 47 people were killed in a triple suicide bombing and gun attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport. In August 2016, 57 people were killed in a suicide attack in Gaziantep. Both attacks were linked to the Islamic State.