Blasts kill dozens outside Turkish stadium

Crime scene investigators outside Vodafone Arena in Istanbul.
Crime scene investigators outside Vodafone Arena in Istanbul. TOLGA BOZOGLU

AT LEAST 29 people have been killed and 166 wounded in two bomb blasts in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

The explosions took place outside Besiktas football club's Vodafone Arena stadium, where a game against Bursaspor took place earlier in the day, and appeared to have been targeted at police.

Officials said most of the victims were police officers after one bomb exploded next to a police bus.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan described the bombings as a terrorist attack.

He said: "As a result of these attacks, unfortunately we have martyrs and wounded.

"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.”

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said one attack had taken place directly outside the stadium and another, believed to be a suicide bombing, was carried out in an adjacent park.

He told the state-run Anadolu Agency: "It is thought to be a car bomb at a point where our special forces police were located, right after the match at the exit where Bursaspor fans exited, after the fans had left.”

The attacks happened about two hours after fans left the stadium.

Eyewitnesses said they heard two explosions followed by heavy gunfire and saw many injured riot police officers.

Pictures from the scene showed smoke rising over the city.

No group had yet claimed responsibility for the attacks.

It comes two months after a bomb exploded outside an Istanbul police station, injuring at least 10 people. In June, a bomb targeting a police bus killed 12 people and injured 51, while three weeks later gunmen killed 45 people at the city's Ataturk Airport.

Topics:  istanbul terror attack turkey

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