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Dozens killed in explosions near Istanbul football stadium

Dozens killed in explosions near Istanbul football stadium

Turkey

At least 38 people have been killed and more than 160 wounded in two explosions near a football stadium in Istanbul, according to Turkey’s interior minister.

One of blasts is understood to have hit directly outside the Vodafone Arena, while a suspected suicide bomber struck in the adjacent Macka park.

The twin attack came two hours after a match between home team Besiktas and Bursaspor finished at the venue.

The explosions appeared to target police – most of those killed are said to be officers.

One eyewitness said it was like hell, with flames shooting up into the sky.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says it was a “terrorist attack” and the aim was to cause the maximum number of casualties.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. But the interior ministry says there have already been detentions in connection with the blasts.

It is the latest in a string of deadly bombings to rock Turkey this year – some have been blamed on the so-called Islamic State, while others have been claimed by Kurdish militants.

In June, around 45 people were killed and hundreds wounded when three suspected ISIL militants launched a gun and bomb attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk airport.

Turkey is part of the US-led coalition fighting ISIL in Syria and is battling an insurgency by Kurdish militants in the southeast of Turkey.

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